18 November 2010

Zywiec Porter...

I figured it was time for another beer review. And, seeing I have just drunk this 9.5% ABV porter, this is going to be it.

How I came to drink Zywiec Porter (and stout, very stout as a matter of fact) beer is a little non-climactic. Tonight was pizza night for dinner, we rarely eat pizza but when we do we eat Dominos. This is probably a lingering loyalty thing as I used to work there.

Normally, while I wait for the pizzas, I go and pick them up, I duck into the bottle shop that is next door. While I was wondering around and checking out the beer fridge, I came across the subject of tonight's review. It retails, at least where I bought it from, for a reasonable AUD 5 per bottle or a much more generous AUD 20 for a six-pack (that's bottles not abs). In hindsight I should have gone for the six-pack.

The beer is produced by Grupa Zywiec S. A. in Poland. From reading about the beer, it is one of the last true Baltic porters. "True" in the sense of being brewed in a Baltic area. I am not sure that should make much difference, but apparently it does.

I am not sure whether this is a sign of my greater appreciation for beer, but the aroma on this beer was complex. There were hints of chocolate, liquorice, coffee, and a little caramel as well. There were also plenty of fruity aromas. Generally, black fruits and blackcurrant was the most dominant of those.

Interestingly, as the beer warms there are additional flavours that make an appearance. The beer takes on a distinctive smokey flavour as it warms. Kind of pleasant to be honest. Although, I really could of done with a second bottle that I could have lingered over a little longer as this might have afforded me more time to see what happens to the beer over a longer period.

There is a strong after-taste that lingers. It is an interesting one as it has elements that are both bitter and sweet  simultaneously. This can go one of two ways; people will be disappointed that it does not finish clean and leave you ready to move onto something else or, like me, the lingering taste leaves you feeling that you wish you had not been such a cheap bastard and bought the six-pack rather than a single bottle.

This is a 9.5% ABV beer. I would be guessing that knocking back a few bottles in a row would creep up on you and then slap you on the upside of the head. This beer conceals its ABV well. I really did not feel like I was drinking such a high ABV beer. The ability to mask the high alcohol content in a beer is a skill in and of itself. Not that this is a good enough reason to pull this beer out of the bottle shop fridge by itself, but it needs to be a consideration.

All things considered, I rate this beer as an 18/20 or an A. This is an excellent beer. It is one of the best porter beers that I have had the pleasure of enjoying. I highly recommend it. I will also be heading up to the bottle shop tomorrow to grab the other 5 beers in that six-pack!


www.madrid-3d.com said...

I totally match with everything you've written.

lunchboxjoe said...

I totally agree with you this is a very stout porter. I guess one man's porter is another man's stout. I drink it at room temp only. As you get the full complex flavor and aroma from the very first drink. This is a beer that is as dark in color as it is in flavor.When I drink it I enjoy knowing I am getting the same experience beer drinkers felt before refridgeration came along and froze away the true taste of beers and bar keeps didn't tilt the glass to cut off the head. This is a must try for any real beer drinker.