Zywiec Porter | Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

very good
802 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 802 |  Reviews: 421
Photo of barnzy78
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle, this definitely needs an upgraded review from the 3/5 I gave it as a 'had' a few years ago as a rookie beer drinker.

Poured roughly into a 25oz snifter, it's near-black with a tall, frothy, beige head, excellent retention and chunky lacing is left all over the glass. Aromas are pleasantly sweet with dark malts, raisin, plum, earth, slight smoke & spiciness, booze. Tastes are sweet and rich with plum, raisin, caramel, chocolate, mild smokiness, mellow roastiness, touch of spiciness & earth, booze is present but not quite hot. Mouth-feel is smooth & creamy, finishes clean. Overall, solid Baltic Porter! So glad to revisit this one, and for $1.79 a pint I definitely will hit it up again soon!

 713 characters

Photo of jeff1973
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Glen Ellyn, IL
Date: Best by 04/16/2013
Glass: Tulip

Zyweic's porter is dark and rich, heavy with roasted malt, molasses, and prune flavors, with some chocolate and coffee bean accents to widen the scope. A solid introduction to the style, since the beer seems to be fairly available wherever I've lived (and I've lived in many places). While perhaps a bit too full of ethanol and willing to showcase it, Zyweic's baltic porter is complex and enjoyable enough for the $1.79 I paid for it. Well worth trying, repeatedly.

Pours a 2cm tall head of tan to burnt tan foam, composed of small bubbles, with above average retention, lasting about two minutes. The head eventually fades to a thin cap atop the body, thicker and with some large bubbles remaining around the sides. The lacing the head leaves is excellent, coating all the sides of the glass with heavy residual foam in various interesting patterns. The beer's body is dark brown to black, opaque, holding this to a light changes nothing. Carbonation is not visible due to the beer's opacity. For the style, I really can't see how this could get any better.

Aromas are more reminiscent of molasses and dried fruit esters than of roasted malt and chocolate, but all are present. The scents begin with dried plum esters, which quickly turn into molasses, roasted malt, a bit of anise, ethanol, and hints of dark chocolate.

Front of palate is primarily full of fruit esters, with plum, prune, slight raspberry/blackberry, and a touch of molasses. This fades, fairly effortlessly, to a mid-palate of roasted malt, molasses, fruit esters akin to dried plums and dates, modestly noticeable ethanol, and faint coffee bean and cocoa nibs. Back of palate is of roasted malt, molasses, ethanol, and faint coffee bean/cocoa nibs, the fruit esters largely having faded except for some vague prune. Aftertaste is of roasted malt, modest coffee bean and dark chocolate, and ethanol.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation levels of mid-intensity, leading to a slightly fizzy mouthfeel that gradually becomes foamy and smooth across the palate. Ethanol can be felt across the tongue during sipping, and in the back of the throat and nostrils after each swallow. Closes quite dry, with substantial stickiness lingering across the palate. I would have liked to see lower, smoother carbonation to make this more sippable given its heaviness and ethanol content, and also "feel" less of the ethanol burning across the palate.

 2,499 characters

Photo of Haywire
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of phishbone23
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of IRONRakkasan
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of ericlawton007
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A bottle of Zywiec Porter pours a tootsie roll brown with a big foamy head. The foam has decent retention as this big beer slowly goes down. The aroma has a strong malt presence. The grain really comes through with hint of chocolate and dark fruit. On the palate some chocolate nibs prickle through. A big boozy center and finish herald what this beer is about. Some dark fruit sneaks in about midway but this beer really is about the alcohol. As others have noted, this beer isn't bad for the price ($1.49 in my case), but I would like to see a little more depth to mask the alcohol a bit.

 590 characters

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

THIS IS NOT A BALTIC PORTER. If you know and enjoy the style, steer clear of this beer. This tastes nothing like a baltic porter. Just because this brewery is Polish, this is automatically a baltic porter?

Black with no light shining through it. Nice light mocha head. Lacing is actually pretty solid throughout the session.

Kind of a mix of roasted malt, chocolate, and alcohol on the nose.

Taste mirrors the nose. Roasty bitter malts, alcohol.

Well carbonated. I wonder if the carbonation is bringing out the alcohol more?

Overall this beer is OK. It's a 9.5% beer, and unfortunately you taste each and every percentage of alcohol in this beer. I wouldn't go out of my way to get this again.

 698 characters

Photo of mikeg67
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle. Pours dark brown with thick, long lasting, creamy, brown head and nice lacing. Aroma is of bready malt, cacao, brown sugar and hints of dark fruit. Body is full and creamy. Taste is roasted, toasted malt, cacao, brown sugar, dark fruit and a good dose of earthy hops. Finish is long, bitter-sweet. Solid Baltic Porter.

 333 characters

Photo of JMBSH
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

There are only two beers from this brewery on our list, and this one has been starring at me every time I open the fridge. This is one of my favorite beers of ALL time! I know, I know… I never say that. But I would put this one in my top 5. It's cheap, too. For a 9.5% beer that has been aged this long and has been shipped so far… for $2.39 (at Sun Devil Liquors) this is a great beer. Anyway, I am excited to be drinking another Żywiec Porter. I bought two bottles the last time I was at Sun Devil, and didn't even realize it was on the list. Glad I saved this bottle! Or maybe I just need another trip to Sun Devil Liquors.

In the Glass: Pitch. Black. This is VERY dark, and has a very nice frothy tan head. The lace is decent, too as the beer just hangs on for dear life as I swirl this around the glass. Funny thing is, I don't remember drinking this very often in Poland. The first time I had it I ordered it because I didn't know what it was… and immediately fell in love. It felt thinner in Europe for some reason. But that was a few years ago. Today is looks nice and thick. As always, we are drinking this right out of the fridge.

Nose: I immediately pick up some copper notes and then finish with some dark fruits/burnt chocolate aromas. I have had a few Baltic porters lately, but nothing compares to this. Until today I didn't realize the process was so intense. The aging and everything… but maybe that is what makes a porter a Baltic porter. A second whiff has me smelling some more intense copper notes and has me drooling for a drink.

Flavor: The flavor is, at first, weak and somewhat dry. Then as you start to swallow the expected porter flavors rush to the top of the tongue. This is WAY too cold, but a quick swish in your mouth will have your entire palate excited and ready for another sip. The copper notes that I was smelling are there, and they are obvious. Not like I am sucking on a penny, but close.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is pretty boring, to be honest. I don't drink this for the mouthfeel. I drink this for the aftertaste. So let's just get to the aftertaste… the best part of this beer!

Aftertaste: A lot of Irish stouts claim to be "dry". They will even say "dry" on the side of the box. But very few are actually dry. This one… this one is VERY dry. The finish is so dry, I can see some people taking one drink and never ordering this beer again. But that is why I like it. I like the dry finish. That is what I like in a gin martini, too. I use extra dry vermouth when I mix one of those. Oh, and bleu cheese stuffed olives are the best!

The Żywiec Porter is a very nice porter that has a fantastic finish. The aftertaste is great, and it brings back memories of being in Poland. I will say, this beer gets better as it heats up. If I were to buy this one again (and I will) I will freeze a glass and pour it in room temperature. You don't want to ruin the flavor of a beer by chilling it. There should be a public service announcement about beer temperatures.

If you can get your hands on this, do. It's a great porter for a great price. Remember, it's 9.5% ABV! Bottoms up, people.

 3,148 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Real nice appearance on the pour. A big billowing head, makes four fingers easily with nice settling and giant clumpy character. A very light mocha color, clumps and whipped lacing abound. Body color is classic dark walnut black, and very light and wet coming out of the bottle, pretty solid looking brew.

Nose is quite grainy but a little small too. There's a gassy carbon dioxide presence, almost quinine tonic, but more like salty club soda. Hints at spritzy characters.

Palate hits with a simple roast, but some nice light banana estery senses. Finish though is a little ferous, quite "steely" and metallic. The hop angle is a bit punched out with this metal bitterness also. The body is nice and silky and solid, with a hint of wet to go with it. Aftertaste lingers and is a sort of salivating wetness feel.

Overall this starts off pretty good, but the aftertaste really sort of lets it all down unfortunately. It's at least drinkable and I could have this again for the right price.

 1,040 characters

Photo of Trrogm
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Peyton5410
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of gwiedman1
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of ThisDudeAbides
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Glebojad
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of JeltMaaj
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of mwar
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of cclark67789
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of sneaks2210
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Mar02x
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of elNopalero
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice find from the Russian market!

This pours a midnight black slash ruby in color with cocoa colored creamy foam atop it. The aroma has notes of coffee/espresso dominant with some smooth dark chocolate and a light roast. I pick up some vanilla hints as well, lending this beer almost an affogato (ice cream + shot of espresso) characteristic.
This has a great flavor. Really, a smooth, full-bodied porter, full of those fantastic flavors.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
3.94 out of 5 based on 802 ratings.
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