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: 411 | Ratings: 779
Photo of dcotom
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 0.5L bottle into a stein. Dark coffee color with a tan head that leaves some pretty lacing as it revedes. Aromas of dark roasted malts, molasses, prunes carry over onto the palate. Not overly bitter or boozy, creamy mouthfeel, a little lingering sweetness on the finish. Nicely done, an outstanding Baltic porter.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a Propolis tulip. Two finger chocolate head which lasted awhile, pitch black body.

Smell: Chocolate covered dark fruits, banana bread.

Taste: Dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and a hint of molasses.

Feel: Full body, medium-high carbonation. Upfront sweetness is immediately swapped for mild roasty bitterness, slight alcohol bite.

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Photo of anon
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black, but very deep shades of brown come through in the light. Appears silky smooth with decent carbonation and soft lacing hitting the edges, but not hanging around for long.

Smells boozy up front, a bit charred, roasty and hoppy. The alcohol comes through strong on the tongue but seems common in baltics, although the char bitterness evens things out quite nicely. Roasted malt and coffee, caramel, toffee, hop bitternes.

Kind of a thick brew but feels creamy and smooth, leaving a nice feel on the tongue. Alcohol presence lingers along with the char but overall this is a pretty decent Baltic.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 9/2/13

L: Pours a very dark brown, close to black, with a tan head.

S: Sweet and toffeelike, and somewhat vinous. Smells like dried fruits (figs), honey and some licorice. Strong smells of alcohol.

T: Sweet and boozy, somewhat harsh. Following the aroma, it tastes like dried fruit and licorice. Has a semidry and bitter finish, with the bitterness akin to that of licorice and burnt coffee. Fairly clean flavor profile, reminding me that this leviathan of a beer is in fact a lager.

F: Medium-full body and low-medium carbonation. Leaves a slick oily feeling on the palate. Although it doesn’t pack too much heat in the sip, alcoholic warmth creeps up afterwards. Actually quite tame for the staggering abv.

O: An interesting though quite boozy and somewhat abrasive beer. Some unique aromas and flavors, fairly but not terribly complex, and maybe a cold winter’s day might call for this. Perhaps some aging would do this particular brew some good.

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Photo of tlema1
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L:deep black with a thick rich head
S: metallic, not appealing or inviting
T: Cocoa and cream, with a bitter, boozy finish
F: medium body, with a dry, hot finish
O: great ABV to price ratio, and a pretty solid beer

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Photo of cjgiant
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle B 3/2016:
Beer pours very dark with a nice thick tan head. The head settles to a creamy consistency slowly, covering the surface and providing lacing early.
The nose is lightly malty sweet, little cola, little root spice, some chocolate and maybe a little licorice.

Taste follows the nose pretty much exactly - it may be a tad more chocolaty. There is also just a hint of a milky note coming out middle to end that turns into a latte-like heavy-cream coffee taste. I don't get much smoke, and this is malty without being sweet. The feel is maybe a tad watery, as the flavors seem to wash away fairly quickly after they flow smoothly over the palate.

Very enjoyable, actually. I'm not sure what I was expected, but this exceeded it. Just a nice tasting beer, perhaps a bit dangerously drinkable at 9+%.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A : From the bottle it pours a fairly light brown bean color but into the snifter it fills out with dark, slick black hues. Some light golden coffee hues also show when light penetrates. The head is gorgeous, almond colored, and colossal. 4 fingers at my measurement, even in the globe snifter.

S : Lots of chocolate out front, faintly trailing with some roast bean, charred barley, and a polite snap of black licorice. This is one fabulous smelling porter.

T : Lots of roasted and burnt bean out front, with a (literal) tongue-numbing carbonated milky presence. Cocoa is faintly in the distance, with a rather high earthy hop presence and a finish of burnt malts and scorched coffee.

F : Highly carbonated, suspended within a milky creaminess that rivals stouts. As said, it numbs the front half of the tongue, and retains feeling again once the beer has been dispersed. It ends pretty earthy and dry, like a mouthful of dry dirt.

O : The first two categories were outstanding. The taste left me a little overwhelmed with the hop presence and scorched earth, and disappointed with the lack of cocoa. The feel I couldn't quite nail down whether I liked it or not. It was unique, and helped push the porter along, but unfortunately a bit wild. I may choose to try this again as it only cost me $2 for a tall bottle.

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Photo of BCraig
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with some brown hue. Thick light caramel colored head that is slow to dissipate, beautiful lacing. Aromas of toasted caramel, raisin, other dark berry, coffee, toffee. Tastes of roasted malt, heavy sweet and charred caramel with some bitter roasted malt, not unpleasant though. Overall drinkable, but feels thick.

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Photo of Erlkoenig
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from its bottle into a large snifter. Reviewed from notes a few hours later.

L: Extremely dark brown, a half-step from totally black. Totally opaque. Thin tan head that separates and dissolves into nothing after a few minutes; wispy spots of lacing that don't linger.

S: I was a little underwhelmed by this one's scent. It's pretty much what you'd expect from a porter. Notes of dark fruit and coffee dominate, but they're more subdued than I would expect. There's just not a lot of nose here.

T: Now this is where things get better. Starts sweet, with a mild punch of alcohol in the front, along with caramel and more of the dark fruit; something like prune. Coffee notes follow accompanied by a tiny bit of hop bitterness. Somewhere in the midst of it all is an almost metallic mineral taste. It's not entirely unpleasant, but notable.

M: Medium body, slightly creamy. A little astringency, but still smooth.

O: This is very easy drinking for its 9.5% abv. The balance is nice and the taste is very pleasant. It's also very good for its price point. I know technically it's probably not as good as other brews on my radar, but the drinkability combined with the flavor and the price make this a go-to porter for me.

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

Pours black body with medium level froth. Aroma is of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Taste reveals very much the same. A nice combination of flavours that go well on the palate.

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Photo of WildMaverick1200
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Zywiec pours as a nice, very dark brown-but not quite black into the glass, with a couple of inches of head and almost no lacing. The smell is reminiscent of rum, honey and sour bread. In the taste, there are well roasted grains, a little bit of honey and more sour bread. Complex and interesting, like a good porter should be. Flavors are somewhat well balanced, with the initial taste leaning towards the sweet side, and a burnt but still sweet feeling in the aftertaste. It's medium-thick bodied, just right for an afternoon or evening drink.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Zywiec Porter has a fairly thick, foamy, beige head, a dark brown appearance, and some lacing left behind. The aroma is of dark-roasted, but not burnt, malt and coffee, and the flavor is of the same, with sweetness, chocolate, chicory, coffee, and a trace of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy and velvety, and Zywiec Porter finishes semi-dry and very drinkable for such a high-alcohol beer.


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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.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'd only drank this beer once or twice when I went to Poland in September of 2009 to visit family there. I remember liking it so much at that time that I got a few bottles to bring back home with me, and they made it from Warsaw to Chicago, but the line to get through security in Chicago coming through customs, etc. was quite long and slow moving and my dad and I were worried about missing our connecting flight back home to Cleveland and we were worried that we wouldn't have to check our bags due to buying liquid. So I had to ditch these beers I'd bought in Poland :( And of course our flight back home from Chicago ended up being delayed by about an hour anyways due to weather, so I totally could have checked a bag and brought this beer back! So I've kind of been keeping an eye out for it since September 2009. I'd never seen it on the shelf at any store. I'd see one or two other beers from Zywiec, but never this one. Until today. I stopped in an ACME grocery store when I was driving around for work today and I decided to peak at their beers, and boy was I pleasantly surprised to see this beer on the shelf. This beer that had eluded me for years was now reunited with me at long last! Oh happy day! What a bargain too, at $1.93 per a 19.9 oz bottle tax included. Poured into my beer mug that I got when I went to Poland, this beer pours a very dark brown color that is not interested in letting any light whatsoever with a nice, creamy, frothy looking tan head that is well over an inch thick when first poured. Head has good retention, only eventually settling to a good solid 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. Aromas of loads of roasted malts, definite cocoa, and hints of black coffee here. Very nice indeed. The taste is even better, as the roasted caramel malts give way ever so nicely to sweet cocoa that is rounded out with roasted black coffee bitterness. The cocoa notes really linger on the tongue after each sip. Has a dry finish. Also has a slightly crisp, but mainly smooth, frothy, creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink indeed, almost too easy for a beer that has 9.5% ABV. Glad I finally managed to find this!


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Photo of jooler
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aged for 6 months for the hell of it. The smell of the alcohol is very noticeable. Great mouthfeel. Very creamy but I do taste a metallic taste. It's good for the price. I like saku porter better

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Deep dark brown to black under a ½” sudsy foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: The aromas are not big but there whiffs of coffee and chocolate with traces of sweetness.
T: A creamy entrance gives way to coffee, chocolate, moca with some alcohol on the end. Everything is well rounded with no burnt or harsh roast flavors.
F: Has an outrageously good texture that is very creamy and soft in the mouth. Medium full body and medium low carbonation.
O: A delightful, well made porter that is deceptively easy to drink despite its level of alcohol.

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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.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poors very thick and heavy. Gorgeous tan head at least 2 fingers. Awesome lacing thru out. Smells very rich and dark chocolate with a sweetness. Tastes strong, no doubt about that. Has a very bittersweet after taste. Delicious and thick not for the wee lads. I frequent this beer from time to time. For something different.

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Photo of fx20736
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Don't remember when I bought this. Poured into a Nonic at cellar temp.

Look: Black or dark brown with a thin garnet sliver at the bottom, when held to the light. Nice tan head with very good lacing.

Smell: light roast and a hint of licorice

Taste: sweet, syrupy licorice dominates with a hint of char.

Feel: supple, slipperywith a clean finish

Overall: tasty, good looking. A very good beer.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Pretty good beer.
Very dark. Tall, bubbly head.
Quite bitter for a porter
Also a fair amount of sweetness on the attack: I'd prefer less.
Nice malt, hints of cocoa.
Rich mouthfeel, commensurate with the high alcohol.
Smoke on the finish - nice.

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Photo of GentleKnight1
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Nice dark. Very dark in the glass with small head. Bitter taste hits on the first sip but seems to recede as you drink. Slightly less pleasant than the Brand Dobbelbock.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is what happens when you fall in love with stouts, it leads you to try darker and darker beers, recklessly seeking that next roasted thrill until your bank account is a mere husk of binary code and you’ve become addicted to priceless Faberge eggs... at least that specific example has happened to someone, somewhere. Anyway the point I was getting at is that Plonk! (BBITU: Best Bottleshop In The Universe) is out of FBS (Founders Breakfast Stout) and I’ve been recommended the two closest things to FBS in the meanwhile: Zywiec and Rasputin - yes, that’s right - we’ve got a full blown Stout-off on our hands!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Deep, deep, dark, cavernous, cola brown body that says “I will own you mere mortal!” with a foamy inch tall khaki head that slowly dissipates to a spiders lace. The whole thing is ominous. I like my Porters ominous. 9/10.

S: A roasted coffee/chicory combo that screams “I will own you mere mortal!”... again it is an ominous brew here. There are notes of dark fruit as well, hints of black cherry and prune. 7/10.

T: The flavour is a real surprise - sets you up for a huge challenging Stout/Porter (whatever, they’re the same thing) and delivers a mild mannered reporter, like if Clark Kent was the alter-ego to Lex Luthor. Flavours are roast coffee with brown sugar and prune. Finishes with an espresso bitterness and an unwanted metallic twang (loses 1 point for this, sorry unpronounceable brewer from Poland). 7/10.

M: Hits the register well here with a medium, rich body and a dense, creamy carbonation. 9/10.

D: It’s no FBS. That is certain. However at $4 a 330ml bottle it is FBS’s cheaper, slightly weird Polish cousin that likes to tip cows, farm potatoes whilst making bootleg vodka, and is “New to this country you call A-Merica”. The fact that it tastes half decent at that price (and kicks its own Lager in the soft-fleshy-dangly-male-bits between the legs) is enough for me to rate it decently. Decently indeed. I have spoken! 8/10. Total: 7.5/10.

Food match: Chocolate roasted rib eye steaks with au gratin potato and roasted pumpkin, with a rich dark gravy simmering away all over that shit.

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Photo of cratez
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Zywiec Porter – 9.5% ABV Baltic Porter – Bottle shared with hopsolutely and NRMan.

A: Jet black in colour with a thick ring of tan foam and strands of lacing on the sample glass. Stellar appearance.

S: Rich pruney-plummy notes, slight nuttiness, black cherry (almost medicinal in character), roasted malt, dark chocolate, and mocha. A truly outstanding nose.

T: Roasted malt, chocolate, vinous dark fruit sweetness (pruney-plummy), mocha coffee, and black cherry. Balanced bitterness precedes a dry, roasty finish. Excellent flavours.

M: Medium-full body, creamy carbonation, sweet middle transitions to a mild bitterness and roasted, drying finish. A great palate.

O: An exemplary Baltic Porter with big aromatics, bold flavours, and a very smooth palate. Definitely lives up to its first-class reputation.

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Photo of Saisons-of-the-Abyss
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Deep, practically black color. Fruity and sweet aroma, like prunes and molasses. Similar taste; fruity and roasted. Smokey coffee and cocoa. Bittersweet finish. Full bodied and heavy with a fairly low carbonation. You can't really taste the high alcohol content, but you'll certainly know it's there by the time you finish this great porter.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
3.94 out of 5 based on 779 ratings.
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