Beer Review: Żywiec Tatra Mocne

NEXT up from this batch of Polish beers is a can of Tatra Mocne from none other than Grupa Żywiec. The same chaps as those behind the Żywiec Polish Prized Original Beer that you can find in every off-license and supermarket in London. That beer was a perfectly adequate lager. But this is a strong “Mocne”. That pits it against the barely fit for human consumption Okocim Mocne, Dębowe Mocne and Warka Strong. To beat them, all this needs to be is better than ghastly. Here then, is a Żywiec Tatra Mocne.

Just like yesterday’s Okocim Harnas, the whole thing is covered in some sort of promotion. And again, I have little idea what’s written on it. It looks like a competition to win tickets, digital cameras and, oddly, chairs. As usual, all translations, pronunciations and opinions from Polish people are very welcome.

In the big roundel, things look a little familiar. That fellow with the hat and pipe looks a tiny bit similar to the lumberjack chap from Okocim Harnas. Am I imagining it?

Żywiec Tatra Mocne logo

There are a couple medals too. One of them has the year 1856. I don’t know what the awards are. But I’m pleased that it has them. The bottom of the can is all obscured by pictures of mountains and the promotional details. But around the top border, I’m going to take a wild guess at what it says. Does it say something about it being “strong with character”? Translators, you know what to do.

This can actually has different things printed on four ‘sides’. Unlike most others that repeat the same thing over and over again. On the ‘back’, this one has what looks like the full terms and conditions for the promotion.

Żywiec Tatra Mocne back of can

Next is the barcode ‘side’ of the can.

Żywiec Tatra Mocne barcode side of can

As well as the barcode, it has a sensibly large anti-drink-drive message. It also has all the details about the brewer. Which, it tells us, is Grupa Żywiec from Żywiec. There’s a telephone number and email address for those who need such details. They have a website address too which is There didn’t seem to be an English language section when I checked it. What I could work out is that there’s also a regular Tatra and you can get them in bottled form too.

On the other ‘side’ of the can are the vital statistics. At least that’s what I think they are. It’s hard to be sure when you can’t understand the language.

Żywiec Tatra Mocne other side of can

First among the details is that this is the ever-popular 500ml size. Next is the only other detail I can understand; the alcoholic volume. Which appears to be 7%. Without a doubt, this is a “mocne”.

Normally, my expectations from a Polish “mocne” beer are low. Very low. But this one talks about awards and character. Will it be better than the rest? How will it taste? Should you try one? It’s time to find out.

There’s no problem with an insane head this time. Everything is under control with a layer small of froth which quickly dissipates. What you’re left with is a dark amber drink with a patch of bubbles floating on the surface.

How does it smell? Horribly artificial. This is one of the most synthetic and unpleasant smelling I’ve ever smelt. I think they were aiming to make it smell of a blend of malted barley and other beer ingredients. What they created instead was a smell of industrial cleaning fluid.

How does it taste? Almost as bad as the smell. Three gulps in, and my tongue is being assaulted by the strongest and least palatable flavours and tastes since the gone-off milk I accidentally had a few weeks ago. What hits you is a building taste of chemicals. This taste culminate in a bitter, lingering aftertaste. It lingers, seemingly forever. The whole experience is like drinking something as natural as Red Bull.

Is there anything to like about Żywiec Tatra Mocne? Well, it has bags of taste, I can give it that. It’s not too gassy. And it’s an effective means of rapidly becoming sloshed. It’s so strong that you soon forget how bad it tastes.

What are you liable to hate about Żywiec Tatra Mocne? Much of it. It has about the worst taste I’ve ever witnessed. It tastes rancid and artificial. I’ve had Tesco Value ready meals that taste more natural.

To sum up, Żywiec Tatra Mocne is strong yet synthetic and horrifyingly bad. Try it if you must, but you can easily choose something better. If you need a strong lager, then Skol Super or Carlsberg Special Brew taste marginally better, are cheaper and easier to find, and are two-percent stronger. If you want taste and drinkability, then almost every other can or bottle on the shop shelf will be better. There is no reason for you to suffer this monstrosity.

Rating: 0.7

Have you tried Żywiec Tatra Mocne? What did you think of it? Can you translate anything?

Do please leave your translations, corrections, opinions, requests and recommendations here. And check my next post for another Polish beer.


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12 Responses to “Beer Review: Żywiec Tatra Mocne”

  1. island1 Says:

    The guy on the Tatra can and on the Harnas can are Polish mountain men. The Tatras are the mountains that mark border between southern Poland and the Czech Republic. The mountain people are a distinctive and widely recognized group in Poland, kind of like Scottish highlanders in the UK. They have distinctive costumes, speak in a weird dialect, and have preserved a lot of old customs that have died out elsewhere in Poland. The town of Żywiec, where the brewery is located, is sort of in this area.

  2. Burnzy Says:

    I don’t mind it. I think this review is over the top. Carlsberg (uk brewed) is much worse. Oh, and this is cheaper and nothing like special brew. I think it tastes like an ok larger with a special brew hint. Not half as bad as this geez has made out.
    Try it – I liked it! 🙂

  3. Linz69 Says:

    Where have you found Special Brew cheaper than Tatra Mocne? SB is almost double the price of this in all the establishments I have visited (I’m not one of your park bench Spesh swilling alcys – honest). I think this is actually not a bad lager at all.

  4. Linz69 Says:

    Good site by the way!

  5. dje Says:

    I found it was gassier than other Polish mocne’s. It is the worst of the mocne’s I’ve tried to date. Taste wise I got flat Irn-Bru with a sort of white-wine vinegar and a touch of elderflower – not really what you want from a beer, true.

  6. s crutinizer Says:

    I agree with most of the other comments on this one.
    You are certainly NOT going to buy it again for the taste alone.
    Repulsive ? – definitely not !
    Delicious ? – No , not that either.
    My local discount off-license is doing it at 85 pence per can
    and 8 for £6.40.
    At that price it certainly has a certain “park-bench” appeal.
    It was recommended by a lovely Polish lady who works there
    so I will probably buy it again , if only to please her !
    Some confusion over strength .
    The can clearly says 7% but other websites say it is 6%
    ( maybe that’s the bottled version ).

  7. s crutinizer Says:

    I certainly used the word “certain ” a lot in my earlier message !
    Perhaps it’s stronger than I thought –
    …. and I’ve only drunk 11 of them this morning !

  8. Anonymous Says:

    nice beer;strong at 7 per cent,more palatable than sugary sweet Special Brew,reasonably priced,will definetly buy it again.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    love it had first five cans at weekend later that day very happy and silly later that night couldnt see straight dribbling talking b0xxxxxx morning came couldnt remember a thing taking half a dozen cans to the motherinlaws barbie at weekend think ill have a few now while omnm coobputerr ceerrrs aaaahhh bleissss luvalee wragerrr

  10. danny Says:

    this review is absolute hogwash, decent strong polish lager, no doubt the author is a confirmed carling drinker…the okocim aint bad either, usually once you get above the 6-7% mark beers usually have that cloying sweet special brew/skol super taste, neither of these polish lagers have that, theyre just clean tasting strong continental lagers that taste better than carling/us budweiser/fosters etc etc do at the 4% mark

  11. Bob Says:

    I simply cannot imagine what this reveiwer wants from a beer, I don’t know much about beer but I have drunk a lot and I know what I like!! This is a good strong lager with no unusual flavours or aftertastes, The texture is excellent. The biggest problem I have is that my wife likes it so I have to drink it quickly!!

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