Zywiec Porter | Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter
Liked This Beer
3.9 w/ 808 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: 808 |  Reviews: 424
Photo of beerfinder
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Sarah-Jean
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of freshcarl
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ajzy
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Falcone
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of ramrod666
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

 871 characters

Photo of broken22
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of veganmaniu
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of blackcompg
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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.

 1,609 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

 1,109 characters

Photo of goschool
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

 893 characters

Photo of boxer0029
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of sbe1
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

 485 characters

Photo of brutalist
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Skidz
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

 963 characters

Photo of tykechandler
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DoubleJ
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
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...

 862 characters

Photo of basica
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

 1,471 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

 622 characters

Photo of joecast
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

 1,050 characters

Photo of yankeej13
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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!

 566 characters

Photo of 86sportster883
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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 .

 855 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
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,

 433 characters

Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
Beer rating: 74.8% out of 100 with 808 ratings
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