Zywiec Porter | Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

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Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter
Very Good
824 Ratings
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: 824 |  Reviews: 429
Photo of Saisons-of-the-Abyss
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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 rickski1981
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark as possible, ith a huge head, rich, cocoa-hued and creamy.
Aroma: intense, amazing, dark, twisted, dripping with espresso tinges, thick and redolent with flavors of molasses, dark rum, and hints of anise. This declares itself immediately, and as a dedicated fan of Baltic porter, I'm ready for some fun, here! I had to sit with this smell some, and put off the tasting while I revelled in it!
Taste, deep, heavy, dark, but still creamy and fully palatable. Fierce flavor, rich and cavernous, with a long, lasting finish. A bit soft in places, but never does it falter. Alcohol is felt prdigiously, too, at hefty 9.1% (that's what the label of this one says), and is enjoyed! Dark and bitter, nearly motor-oily in viscosity, with lush malt, toasty, roasty, and ever-so-good.
On my first sampling, this automatically goes to the top, to the utmost peak of the Porter Hall of Fame.
This was not the first beer of my evening, but it was the last! I shuffled off to Slumberland, and left some beer in the glass. Next morning, that aroma was still there, and I couldn't bear to pour the remnants out, even felt tempted to toss it in my coffee!

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Photo of rallison
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dear lord, this is good. Let's start off by saying my girlfriend is not a fan of porters and stouts, yet she loved this one.

Gorgeous dark black pour with a nice 1 finger tan head that both sticks around and leaves some nice lacing. Smell is intoxicating. Yeasty, chocolaty with some dark fruits.

Taste follows suit, and quite nicely. Sweet chocolate. Dark fruits. Slight roastiness. Touch of hops (barely). More sweet, dark, rich fruits. Some espresso. Amazing balance. Amazing. Some yeastiness. Some earthiness. Like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale crossed with a porter. Man. This is perfection here. I would not change a thing. In fact, doing so would be sacrilege.

Mouthfeel is excellent. A nice touch of carbonation to make it lively. Rich mouthfeel, without ever being syrupy. Stays both rich and light. Absolutely no alcohol is evident. None. Tastes like 7%, not 9.5%.

D: Insanely high.

Highly recommended. One of the top beers of the year, I must say.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok last beer of the night ..bought this in then11.2 oz brown bottle..nice label with two Poles , male and female in the traditional costume...says same recipe since 1881.
Good pour..nice deep dark brown almost black ( this looks like a stout)..small head which lingers long,.
ahhhhhh i love the aroma of this beer very very malty sweet fruity berry scents assault my nasal passages..great
This beer has a great creamy taste ..lots of flavours up front i get coconut then sweet chocolate..black coffee..hoppy bitterness at the end.
Feels good on the tongue very smooth
drinkable for a beere this damned strong..cant really feel the alcohol until it reaches the belly then it's a delicious warmth..this is truelly a great beer, nice just before retiring to a crisp clean and warm bed.
Never knew a Polish beer would be so great!

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Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. This is a porter? I kept thinking full-blown stout. Color is extremely dark. with an aroma that invites you to take that first sip. Taste is outstanding. Coffee, molasses, and a tartness that I can't quite describe. The 9+% abv gets you going pretty quick. This would be a fine, sitting by the fire on a cold night type of beer. I paired it up with a medium-rare New York strip steak hot off the grill.

I would recommend this beer highly.

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Photo of cokes
4.69/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big roasted action going on here.
Nice dark, dark brown in color (black if not held to light).
Big roasted malts on the nose....dark fruit too (plums, slight raisins), maybe a little straight-up grape as well (wine-like).
Taste manifests these traits. Also with some carmel and faint toffee. Slightly buttery and nutty too. Decent amount of hops attempt to even things out towards the finish, but the malts end up dominating. Works fine here.
Alcohol is not even vaguely perceived (execpt in the last sip or two...and very faintly then). Bodily perceptions (such as: drooling and unconsciousness) are the only clues that this is as strong as it is.
So fun to drink. Coats the mouth, without being cloying in the least. Body is solid.
I am very glad that I have been turned on to Baltic Porters. They are quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

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Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jmalex
4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tonight's beer is the one that opened my eyes to Baltic porters. There's always room in my fridge for one of these.

APPEARANCE: Pours out tremendously black with a 2-finger tan head. The head is tightly bubbled and has great staying power. Lacing comes in sheets all over the glass. Looks awesome!

SMELL: Underwhelming intensity but some nice aromas. Bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits are most prominent. Aromas become more intense as it warms, and some bitter roasted malts begin to come out. Overall, nice, but a bit empty.

TASTE: Absolutely perfect! Everything a Baltic porter should be and more! Chocolate, caramel, coffee, and a big presence of dark fruits. Even a slight hop bitterness shows itself. The finish lingers long and flavorful. It just what I'm looking for!

MOUTHFEEL: Another slam dunk! Thick, chewy, creamy, and soooo smooth. Carbonation is medium and right on.

DRINKABILITY: Can you tell I love this beer? I could drink this every single day. It's absolutely everything a Baltic porter should be.

It's very strange that the smell was underwhelming to me. Everything else about this beer is exactly what I would want. It's incredible. I'll be buying these as long as I can get them.

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Photo of joshk
4.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was watching a review of this, and the guy said it was pronounced "Zee-Vee-Etch"

Appeared dark and awesome, poured into a small glass (shared this one with a friend). Had it pretty close to room temperature.

Smelled like a stout almost. Roasty malt scent, I think.

Taste- this is why I love porters; smokey, not overbearing with the roasted malt bitterness, vanilla on the sides of the tongue, not grainy at all. Mildly sweet, an almost undetectable hop bitterness, but this beer was definitely crafted with malt flavor in mind. The only reason I cannot give a perfect 5 because I've only tasted like 2 or 3 porters, and I can't say "this beer is perfect" with such a small basis for comparison.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability- I know this is said by a lot of people, but "this beer does not taste like ___ % alcohol". The alcohol is there, but it's not in your face. Thats the best I can describe it. It was easy to drink, I had both large and small sips.

Notes: $1.80 a bottle? What the hell. You could easily pay $6 for a beer this size that doesn't even taste as good. This one tastes great, will get you drunk fast (if you want), and its from Poland. What more could you want?

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Photo of Kubishark
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a few 500ml bottles of this for $1.99 each. This has got to be one of the best deals in all of beer as far as I'm concerned.

It's dark and has a cola look to it. Smells like chocolate and roasted malts. The taste is big and boozier than I remember it being the first time I had it. A very bold beer, it's also well-balanced and has a variety of subtle flavors that aren't always present in more coffee-like beers. There's bitterness but also a cola-like sweetness.

This is one of my favorite beers ever, regardless of the price point. This could cost two or three times what it is now and I'd still buy just as much of it. (But I'd like it to stay as cheap as it is, please.)

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
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 +18.3%
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 +18.3%
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 +17.7%
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 VoxRationis
4.55/5  rDev +17%
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!

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Photo of dhilltop2000
4.55/5  rDev +17%
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 +17%
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 +16.5%
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 +16.5%
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 Kschirrmacher
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of bgildea
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
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 beerhunter13
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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 arkitekt2
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 824 ratings
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