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 BlurryVisi0n
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, I mean really dark. Almost opaque brown, light tan head which rose to maybe a fingers length after a vigorous pour.

Smell: Light light tree bark, meeting a dark chocolate bar. Very light and I do mean light to the point it smells like nada.

Taste: Bitter, and toasted...I can't complain with a robust feel of bitte chocolate and slight pine (yes believe it).

Mouth: medium with a super sticky after taste.

Overall: for a few bucks you would have to be kidding yourself not to buy it. It might be an acquired taste for some but I felt it right after one sip. Salud!

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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.

 378 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very aromatic. Lots of caramel and chocolate with fresh dark bread notes as well. Deep black color with a beautiful three finger thick mocha head. Very roasty...burnt pumpernickel and dark chocolate flavors pop out. Head never gives up it stays huge and fluffy...beautiful looking beer. Some herb and vegetal flavors come out in further sips.

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Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured brown, only slightly deeper in colour than that of the bottle. That similar 'tapioca' coloured head - though not much of it. A bready, macro malt aroma - wow, disapointing! What little taste is there falls apart quickly. Other than the hiding the alcohol this one fails to hold its own like other Baltic Porters (I'd suggest the Okocim as better example)
Simply, very meak in the flavour department. Carbonation seems a little high for the style; I think a little ageing might smooth that out. Chocolat (or is it plain, brown) malt lingers on the toungue for a nice mouthfeel. Aroma though still fails to captivate the interests even as it warmed. Doesnt show a hint of the 9.5% at least either. I found the smell more and more that of a stale pils but with the brown malt added.
I sampled this a couple times while in Poland and it simply didn't seem to me to have the great character of some other Baltics.

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Photo of cagocubs
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown/black, two finger tan head that bubbles, retains, then caps off with lacing. Did not explode out of the bottle.

S: Roasted malt, some chocolate, and smokey barley. Some alcohol was picked up.

T: Roasty and smokey malt/barley. Sweetness in form of caramel. Good warming finish from alcohol.

M: Slides down well for a porter, you don't have to fight it much. Good warming and decent carbonation level.

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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.

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Photo of silentjay
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark brown, almost black, with a huge chunky sand colored head that retains well and laces in chunks.

soy sauce and molasses, dark roasted coffee, unsweetened chocolate, toffee, and caramel.

maple syrup, molasses, soy sauce, coffee, caramel, toffee, a touch of unsweetened chocolate and vanilla extract. a bit metallic at times and some dark fruits make an appearance as it warms.

a bit lighter bodied than its stateside robust porter relatives, but still a nice medium body with plenty of carbonation and a bit of sticky sweetness left behind after the swallow.

alcohol is integrated very well. a bit of a metallic flavor and light body hinder its score here, but its tremendous value and above average scores make this a great buy any time.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

No matter what, I don't think I could ever turn down a new Baltic porter...like this one. It pours a very dark ruby-brown topped by over a finger of dusty dark tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, molasses, spruce tips, dark chocolate powder, and dense, resinous pine in the background, melding with the darker notes, yet still expressing itself pretty strongly. The taste emphasizes the dark chocolate and pine, with the roast and molasses pulling up in a joint backup session. Some balsa makes its way in there as well. Combined, it almost comes across as too roasty, too charred even, for its own good. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice BP, but things seem to have been taken to excess when moderation would have been the proper path. Had they toned this down slightly, it would probably have turned out very well.

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Photo of GeckoPunk
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a tulip glass. Color is black with a creamy khaki head that left a good amount of lacing on the glass. I held the glass up to the light and only the edges permitted a small amount of light to penetrate a dark orange-brown color.

S - Dark fruits (burnt currants and figs), typical porter malts/caramel notes.

T - Sweet beginning, but left a bitter bite on the end. Alcohol notes aren't hidden as well as possible. Again, dark fruits, roasted malts, slight caramel, no coffee, no chocolate

M - Not too creamy or thick. Moderate-to-light mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

O - I drank a Black Boss Porter prior to this beer (both Polish Baltic Porters) and I am left a little underwhelmed I had this one afterwards. If it came down to recommending this beer, I think I'd pass. It's a good strong beer, but it has too much of an afterbite that doesn't appeal much to me.

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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.

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

Poured out of a 1 pt. 9 oz. bottle into my Duvel.

A - Pours a nice deep brown. Think Coke. Great creamy brown head. Sticky lacing.

S - Roasty malt smell with hints of chocolate. Also comes across with somee very ligh fruit smell.

T - Strong malted taste. Good bit of roastiness. Little bit of the ABV comes through with a nice warming feeling at the end.

M - Medium bodied with a average amount of carbonation.

D - It's a fairly drinkable porter for its ABV. Go for it.

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

Big 500ml bottle of foamy brown headed beer. very dark and seemingly clear. best before 11/10/2007.

Smell is typical of a porter... dark malty scent with a bit of hoppy goodness.. Very sweet smelling.

taste is a little strange, but good. sweet and malty. not midblowingly good but very normal.

smooth and drinkable, a little light for a porter makign it a bit easier to drink than average.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice dark brown with a light ruby tint to it. Some light could be seen on the sides and bottom of the glass. Nice big head with good retention and a slow fade,

laced with caramel and definite hints of alcohol. As it warmed some nice flavors of roasted malts and a robust grain and bread like flavor with just a touch of chocolate started to come through. The alcohol was the biggest factor here and needed to be reigned in a tad. A bit of a thin feel for something that I thought would be so big, almost had an ale like quality to it. Nice caramel malt sweetness could be detected under the alcohol with an ever so slight hoppy presence in the back. Very smooth and great carbonation led to a nice frothy feel

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Photo of Samuel906
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This was going out on a limb a bit for me; I don't venture to the import section of the bottle store too often, and I think this is my first beer from Poland. Overall I was very pleased, very rich full beer and absurdly cheap. Pours dark with medium head. Smells very good: chocolate and cinnamon and roasted malt. Follows with rich flavor as well. Chocolate and malt, hints of coffee. No booze. Very mild metallic taste. Only thing odd to me about this is that it is called a porter. I was expecting something a little lighter weight. Good all around!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep dark brown color nearing black. Upon pouring there is a two finger tan foam on the top of the brew. The head fades slowly over time to leave a decent level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest f roasted malt, with notes of coffee and cocoa mixed within. Some sweeter aromas of caramel and dark fruit aromas of fig and plum accompany the more roasted nose flavors. With these smells there is also a faint grassy/herbal and alcohol smell

Taste – The taste begins with a drier coffee and roasted malt flavor up front. A cocoa flavor soon joins these with the other two flavors becoming even more pronounced on the tongue. Hints of sweetness begin peeking into the taste beginning with some caramel and vanilla and later becoming more dark fruit in nature. The beer never gets too sweet however with it maintaining a higher proportion of roast/dark to sweet. Toward the end the booziness of the brew comes to light with an alcohol flavor developing in the taste. Along with the alcohol flavor comes notes of a bitter grassy and slightly biting coffee bitterness that when combined with the rest of the flavors leaves a rather roasted and bitter flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the medium side with a carbonation level that was quite average overall.

Overall – A pretty good Baltic porter with some nice roasted and more bitter notes.

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Photo of peabody
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a semi-transparent liquid in the chocolate brown realm with 1/2 finger of foamy suds. Lots of lacing.
Smell is frothy coffee with malt sugars. A yeast burns the nose a bit but this is all pretty faint.. Might be too cold.
Taste is a dirty water at first then the sugar and charred malts kick in then a bitterness comes back. Raisin and coffee and dirty water.
Mouthfeel if fairly clean for a 9.5%er.
Mouthfeel is not-sticky and the mouth is left wanting another drink.
Drinkability is pretty nice despite the abv. Heck you can't tell the 9.5 at all here. Aywiec hides it well.

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Photo of OtisinAZ
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a black body with a brown creamy head.

strong smell of malt and toffee with some biscuit notes. no noticeable aroma.

taste was dark malt with very little hop bitterness.

good chewy body with small alcohol burn.

good beer would drink more if i had them.

 263 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Ballast Point Brewery pint glass. Bottle reads best before 03.23.2011.

A - Pours dark brown with a one finger light tan head. Has decent head retention, and lacing...

S - Pick up notes of dark chocolate along with a sweeter fruity scent...

T - Chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee with maybe a hint of licorice. Ends with a slight metallic taste that I am not to fond of. Abv is very well hidden. Besides the matallic taste, this one is very smooth...

M - Medium bodied. A little watered down for my tastes. Tend to like my porters a little more thick and creamy...

D - Can't beat the price on this one. Goes down pretty smooth for the abv. Definitely something I will be buying again...


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Photo of dedrinker
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mostly black with lighter edges and a pancake batter tan head. Aromas of coffee, roasted malt, molasses and burnt sugar. Sweet and roasty dark malt flavor with a doppelbock-like caramel fruitiness. Full body with a deep malt finish - more caramel doppelbock notes with alcohol fairly well hidden. Baltic Porters are fun because the bottom fermentation totally throws you for a loop when you first taste the almost imperial stout-like character that suddenly swerves into doppelbock character. It's the beer that starts out as an ale but finishes like a lager.

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Photo of gkatsoris
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: PITCH BLACK. Big thick, frothy, tan head. The head stayed for a good 3-5 mins too. No lacing.

S: Molasses and molasses. Dark brown sugar. Roasted brown sugar. Alcoholy. Wood and vanilla. Roasty goodness.

T: Bitter bread on the front. Malts and molasses on the back end. Woody. Slight smokey-roasted malts.

M: Very thin indeed.

O: Meh.

thanks redliner8!

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opaque black with a huge muddy brown head. So many lace rings the glass almost ran out of room.

Smells of espresso, chocolate, and dark fruity alcohol.

Roast malt, dark fruit and Hershey's chocolate syrup. A little thin and lacks depth hinted at in the aroma.

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Photo of albern
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer works well on a cold winter's day. It pours an inky black, thick, full bodied consistency with a dark creamy head with plenty of lacing and retention. The head is quite thick, creamy, and foamy. The nose on the beer is roasted malts and a boozy caramel and toffee aroma. There are some chocolate or maybe mocha notes in there as well. The ABV definitely comes through in the aroma.

The taste is quite pronounced, strong, and characteristic of the style. There are some charred notes, lots of roasted grains, chocolate and caramels, lots of toffee, an assertive bittering hop presence, and a boozy metallic and toffee taste. The beer has a strong fermented brown sugar character as well, and it comes through noticeably because the beer doesn't mask its ABV at all. The beer is strong, it is a sipping type beer, but it is warming and creamy. The metallic qualities fade a bit as the beer warms. The aftertaste has a definite throaty ABV burn, and you will know that you were drinking a beer with a high alcohol content. Not bad, but not for all occasions either.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of burnt molasses with a modest tan head. Bubbles of carbonation coat the length of the glass, giving it a cola-like appearance. Aroma smells mildly of dark fruit, alcohol, and a hint of chocolate. Flavor is strongly alcoholic, accompanied by dark fruit and a metallic twinge. Warming reveals some coffee and anise as well. The front end is a little on the fierce side, but drinkable.The saving grace here comes on the back end, where a wave of bitter chocolate and smoke sweep the palate clean. The metallic flavor never quite goes away though, which is a little off-putting. The mouthfeel is interesting--slick and moderately viscous, which suits the style well, but the relatively high carbonation mitigates the body some and negates what could have been an excellent mouthfeel. I have limited experience with Baltic porters, but I've found them to be an interesting animal, and this is no exception: rich, roasty, and flavorful, but infused with an industrial character that confuses more than it charms. Zywiec Porter comes off as a beer I want to really like, but ultimately leaves me merely bemused.

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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.

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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.

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