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 Thickfreakness
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours pitch black into my Bruery tulip with a two finger dark tan foam that fades slowly and leaves a good bit of sticky lacing behind.

S- Great nose of dark belgian chocolate, black coffee and some dried fruit. Raisins, dried cherry, black strap molasses, light brown sugar and some notes of piney hops as it warms up. More complex than I thought it would be.

T- Chocolate covered espresso beans, cherry cordials, raisinettes, and caramel/toffee sugar cookies. Just a hint of the 9.5% which only brings out the dark fruit, citrusy pine, and dark roasted malts. This is more complex than alot of very popular Imperial Stouts which will remain nameless.

M- Slightly thick and creamy. Wonderful burnt roasted flavors of coffee, cocoa, and charred wood. Touches of sour cherry and mission figs. I love how the citrus fades in at the end and blooms after the swallow. Not oily and slick, has just enough carbonation to let all the flavors come together and burst in your mouth.

O- Call this one a porter, imperial porter, imperial stout or whatever... I call it fantastic!!! Cost me $2.99! I think I just found my new favorite go to Imperial Stout/Porter. I can't believe it took me this long to grab one of these! makes me proud to be Polish!!!

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Photo of Laddyboy
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I call this the Polish version of Guiness. It's not as creamy as Guiness, but it's got a better psychoactive effect, shall we say.

IGA sells it three for five dollars. It's worth the price. I'm glad it's not that well known yet. except in ethnic neighborhoods. I can always find it when needed.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I swear to god, I am not getting senile. My reviews are disappearing. At any rate, this beauty pours out to a clear dark brown, forming a tall light tan head with excellent retention and lacing. 9.5% ABV. $2.19 for a 500ml bottle. Medium carbonation. The aroma is heavenly with sorghum molasses, raisins, and prunes. The taste is wonderful. Full bodied, creamy, with a big molasses kick, followed by dark fruits, mild bitterness in the aftertaste, and a clean ferment.

Everything that a baltic porter should be,this is up near Okocim and Synebrychoff. Excellent buy, consistently excellent quality. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of Offa
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very tasty and characterful, yet smooth Polish/Baltic porter.

Black red, it has a fairly large, light brown head that shrinks very slowly and leaves very nice lace.

The aroma is chocolate, coffee, wine, prunes, and brown sugar.

The taste is rich, with a lot of strong, complex flavour, but it is very smooth the elements integrated and balanced very nicely. It has a rich character of prune, chocolate, port, and burnt sugar with hints of licorice, black pepper, toast, and coffee. It's smooth and a little oily but less than one might expect for this richness. It has a warmth to it, but the high alcohol is not noticeable at all except in the silky body and warm sweetness. I find that this just edges out its fellow Polish porter, Okocim porter.

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Photo of dhilltop2000
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours syrupy black with ruby undertones. Head forms nicely and continues to grow for an unusually long time. Smells of alcohol, fig, toffee, coffee beans and chocolate. Smell is nicely complex. Taste is nice and warming. Moderately strong alcohol warm and nicely balanced. Taste is more reminiscent of an Imperial Stout but none the less a great beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent sipping porter (in contrast to those Porters you slam in beer bongs..lol...)...heavy mouthfeel...black with a little tan head...smell is of sweet dark fruits....the taste is loaded with burnt malts and sweet dark fruits...a nice little semi-bitter hop finish....a real dandy..alcohol emerges only slightly....on the sweeter side, but some real nice hopping nicely balances things out...My first true big porter and a great one to start with...also noted some true vanilla bean notes in this one.

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Photo of edchicma
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...my tastebuds have grown. This offering was extremly dark with a pillowy head and great lacing. I wonder if my first review was an old bottle. The smell is burnt malt with a distinct hop uindertone...extremely inviting. Taste is malty on the front...smoothly moving to the back of the palate where the hop flavor dominates. Mouthfeel is smoooth and rich, the dry finsih keeps it from being oily. Extremely drinkable. This is 9.5 abv..but you don't know until the alcohol kicks in. The alcohol by the way is very understated...very nice.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had never seen this around before yesterday, when JD the great Neil St. Piccadilly manager informed me that it had been unavailable in central IL for the longest time. It made its return in the last month or so, and a triumphant one as far as I'm concerned.

Three fat fingers of tan froth top a rich ruby body with deep brown trim. The head retention was fabulously durable, and the Duvel tulip needed an extra rinse from the sheet of lacing gracing it; stellar. Big sweet and sour porter nose, with lots of berry with dark chocolate and minty overtones.

The taste confirms this and more. Zywiec is a tremendous example of complexity in balance, with sweet berry and chocolate blending with anise, hazelnut, and a dash of roasted coffee. It astutely moves between sweet and sour, and at its best negotiates both in a mouthful. Smooth texture with a sour hint in the finish leaves me totally impressed.

Zywiec has easily catapulted itself into my top five porters around, just an outstanding example of Baltic Porter--smooth, rich, fruity but with a sour-bitter element that is not just most welcome, but surprisingly accessible and enjoyable. Brilliant beer, neck-and-neck with Okocim for the best Poland has to offer the beer world.


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Photo of bgildea
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Very nice dark black color. Little bit of nice brown head that faded quickly with some lacing.

S: Great smell, nice roasted malts with hints of chocolate and carmel.

T: The taste is amazing. It tastes just like it smells. You get a nice flavor of roasted malts, chocolate, and carmel. Not too much hops, so a great overall balance of flavors. Very enjoyable.

M: Thin for a porter, little chew. But still nice.

D: This beer is EXTREMELY drinkable. The taste is top notch and the price for 16 oz at 9.5 ABV is amazing. Whenever I go out to the beer store, I always pick up one or two of these cause they are amazing and a great deal.

Overall: Overall, if you like a good porter, this will not disappoint you. Great flavor, great smell, and a great deal. I highly recommend this beer.

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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 Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Zywiec Porter is brewed by Heineken, but it is nothing like a Heineken lager. This is a robust Porter, and one that I have aged in my cellar for a year.

Pours dark brown with a good tan head that thins a to a fine layer of foamy bubbles, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Delicious aromas of raisins/prunes, dark chocolate, brown sugar, overlaid on toasted malt.

This beer is tasting very smooth, and after a year, still has some tartness, giving it a little bite at the start, which resolves into a delicious long aftertaste of dark chocolate ice cream with a little extra hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with a nice amount of carbonation.

I am impressed by how it is presenting after a year. At only slightly over $2 for a 500 ml bottle, you can't go wrong with this--it is I think one of the best beer bargains around for the taste it delivers.

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

Best before 3.31.2011.
Very dark brown, but with faint, clear, ruby edges. A soft pour produced 3/4 inch of thick, tan foam that stuck around for quite a while. Clumpy sheets of lace at first, followed by spottier stickage. Fruity nose, plums and raisins, backed up by grainy malt, chocolate and roast, slight alcohol, anise and a hint of mint. Full bodied, but not heavy, with soft carbonation and creamy texture. Very light astringency, plus some alcohol flavour and warmth. Nice flavour profile, with plenty of dried fruits (figs, raisins, and the like) along with dark, roasted grains that provide notes of chocolate, toffee, and a bit of coffee. Bitterness seemed to originate partially from the dark malts, providing some depth to this characteristic that isn't present when hops are the only source. It's balanced towards sweetness, but isn't cloying at all. Based on the mouthfeel and alcohol content, I'd be surprised if there weren't adjunct sugars present -- but this only makes the beer more drinkable, similar to some higher abv Belgians that retain some lightness of texture. Highly recommended.

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

Appearance: The pour is black with cola-brown highlights topped by a tan head that builds up and out through the lip of the glass and eventually fades to a ring of lace and a small peninsula in the middle.

Smell: The nose is wonderful. Imagine how a candy bar with semi-sweet chocolate, nuts, toffee, and a hint of caramel would smell like if you spilled a drop of coffee on it.

Taste: The flavor profile is much more focused on roasted malt than most Baltic porters. Anise, toffee and a slight hint of alcohol provide the sweet accents to go along with chocolate, coffee, and burnt caramel.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to full. The texture is oily and slightly sticky with soft carbonation.

Drinkability: This is probably my new favorite Baltic porter. I don't think it's sweet enough to be a textbook example of the style though. It's far more quaffable than a 9.5% beer should be.

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Photo of sbe1
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent example of the Baltic Porter style.

Appearance: dark, muddy, near black, with a brown foamy head the color and consistency of cappuccino that lasts a good while.

Smell: Sweet caramel, roasted malt, coffee, fig.

Taste: Smooth and rich with sweet caramel, a hint of maple syrup, creamy with a light bitterness from the roasted malts at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Excellent, full bodied, light carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent, makes a great porter-lover's session beer.

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Photo of Skidz
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep cocoa-amber and sits near-black in the glass with just a slight dark mahogany around the edges of the glass. Large, frothy tan head with good staying power. Good amounts of lacings around the glass.

Aromas of raw cane sugar and molasses are supported by a light base of chocolaty roasted malts and hints of floral and grassy hops.

Mildly sweet and malty up front. Huge doses of roasted, cocoa-centric malts with just the slightest hints of charred woods. Alcoholic twang in the background, producing just the slightest amount of heat which is entwined with a moderate hop bitterness near the finish.

Ever so smooth, rich and creamy right down to the bone. Light and fine carbonation provides a good reminder that this is not liquid candy, though it feels and tasted like it is just so. This is absolutely silky.

Very appealing. One of the best I've had of this type. Affordability is also a huge plus, as this runs only about $2 a bottle. Score.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I found it (finally)! From the BevMo located in Brea, CA, on to the beer:

Poured into a hefeweizen glass, it features a billowy head with an opaque appearance. I felt a sense of pride when I saw how cool this looked. Nice aromic smell of molasses, sweet chocoalte, and fruit. The first rush of taste was very metallic, but it went away after a few sips. Coming from the ashes of the metallic flavor is a smooth and yummy porter that has no real overpowering bitterness, and flavors of coffee, fruit, roasted flavors, and a full bodied feel. It's a strong beer, so don't rush the experience.

No beer thermometors or "Prawie jak" campaigns for this one, this is the real deal. It's drinkable for a 9.5% beer with a great taste. Add in that it's only $1.99 for a half-liter bottle, and you have yourself a bargain. Now if the low metallic flavor could be fixed...

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

This one's polish and I got it as I heard quite a bit about it. BA reviews are also looking
pretty promising on this one. This Polish Porter is my first ever porter which I bought from
Brauhaus, to go, after I had my German Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock on site. The Zywiec Porter
pours out almost coffee black with a very minimal head which slowly becomes a coffee like lacing.
This beer gives out a strong smell which is clearly coffee and caramelized malts which resembled
the German doppelbocks and eisbocks to some extent but still not quite. I think there is also
some similarity to a stout. The taste was somewhat an exemplification of the caramel and malt
as well as a very subtle dash of dark fruits. The taste was rich, mellow, robust, strong and has
a slightly metal finish which makes it not as good as the Eisbock I had at Brauhaus. Also evident
in the taste was a slight bitterness which was not at all overwhelming; it is not sweet though
it could do with a little maple sweetness to balance things out. Almost nothing alcoholic in the
taste at all which was great, considering that this porter goes at about 9.5 ABV. In terms of
mouthfeel, this porter is close to full-body and felt silky smooth in the mouth and as I drink
it. Although this one's a sipper, I Would say that it boasts of a high level of drinkability
due to its smoothness and slight creaminess mouthfeel. An impressive go to start my adventure
into the world of Porters.

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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.

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

lucked out here. still a few weeks before the bb date

seriously dark with minimal dark tan foam around the edge of the glass. mildly sinister to be honest. im sure its up to something, but i cant quite pick it yet. we venture on then...

just about the perfect mix of sweet appealing friendliness and big bad ass beer. interweaving chocolate and strong malt alcohol. sweet yet sharp. approachable yet foreboding. all at the same time. fantastic.

huge malt character with hints of chocolate again. dark bitter chocolate. the taste lingers for ages. dark stone fruits vie for attention against the big malt character. no hops that i can identify, but they arent missed at all. and thats coming from a serious hop head. this beer is all about the malt with an honorable mention to the yeast that did such a fine job getting through it cleanly.

a testing beer. so good, yet you have to work to drink it. well worth the effort i must say. at 9.5% this is a big beer, but there is no hesitation at finishing the bottle. the best beer ive had in a while.

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Photo of yankeej13
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my all time favorite porters and figured it was about time I rated it.

A- The color is dark as night with a small about of chocolate colored foam. Pretty mild carbonation.

S- Has a fantastic smell, extremely potent, a nice chocolate smell, bold in flavor just from the smell.

T- A bold fantastic chocolate taste. Pretty heavy malt flavor with mild hints of caramel.

M- Great drinkablility for a higher alcohol content beer, Great creamy mouthfeel leaves you with a pretty sweet finish.

Overall- A great success this is such a great beer. Cheers!

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Photo of 86sportster883
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine left me a bottle of the Zywiec Porter a few weeks back, and I'll have to remember to thank him once again. This is a truly enjoyable Baltic porter that is easy to get excited about. I've always been a fan of the darker brews, but this big dark lager seems to excel at everything I like about the Baltic porter style. It looks great, leaves a distinct lacing, has a top end abv, and a superior complex blending of smells and tastes. The aroma itself is sweetly intoxicating, while the flavor melds a rich caramel malt base with alcohol and aggressive bitterness that really leaves you wanting for more. Incredibly smooth, with low carbonation this dark amber ale will give you both a kick in the taste buds, as well as, a kick in the head. I'm going to have to find a case of this to use as the perfect, erase the rest of the day, elixer .

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

Pours a basically opaque black with a tan head. Nose is distinct with chocolate. I like! Flavor is just as good. Mature and robust with a smooth and not too harsh profile. Chocolate and mature malt tomes. Feel is thick with carbonation and smooth with ingredients. Extremely drinkable. After sampling several porters from the region over the past few weeks, this is by far one of the top ones...if not THE top one. Very worth trying,

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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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Photo of Gear54
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A: Dark black with 1/2 inch of thick head. It failed down the glass without and lace.

S: Faint licorice aroma

T: Wonderful full coffee and chocolate noted. Long lasting and no bitterness

M: Does well to coat the mouth

O: This is a good porter. I was surprised for the price how well it performed.

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