1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Fuller's London Porter - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,902 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1902
Reviews: 1118
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%


Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-20-2001)
View: Beers (35) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,902 | Reviews: 1,118 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of seand
seand

California

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brownish red, near black, with a large creamy bubbly tan head, which retains quite well and leaves good lacing. It's a very nice looking beer.

S: Chocolate, coffee, and grainy oatmeal, the malts come out strong hear, with a bit of burnt bitterness.

T: Full flavored, sweet chocolate notes with a strong coffee background, finishing with bitterness. I think it works quite nicely.

M: Medium to full bodied, not much carbonation so almost like thick water.

D: The smoothness and low carbonation make this an easy one to quaff.

Serving type: can

07-25-2009 23:20:50 | More by seand
Photo of HansBlix
HansBlix

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This beer was poured from the tap into a pint glass. I tried to take notice of the initial pour. The head at the first pour was at first 3 fingers and then quickly dissipated with the second pour leaving 1 finger at most . There was some lacing but nothing to impressive. Color was dark brown and carbonation was minimal.

Smell - Roasted Malt was the most prominent smell with a roasted coffee finish.

Taste - Somewhat mild. Roasted malt or coffee was the backbone of this brew with minimal undertones of other flavors.

Mouth Feel - Very light carbonation. Somewhat medium body. Very Smooth.

Drinkability - This beer seems to be kind of a fall back Porter. Its good, I would drink it again, just nothing spectacular.

I miss my beer drinking friend a great deal. Its just not the same.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2009 06:08:39 | More by HansBlix
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep, clear--for those that understand--like New Jersey Barrens creek water full of tannic acid. A thin tan head quickly fades to a thin ring of retention and leaves spotty lace.

S-Dry oak, licorice, roasted malts and toasted biscuit.

T-Full flavoured rich licorice with roasted malt and some bitter chocolate. Light toasted oak and biscuit. Quite complex.

M-Medium bodied, very smooth and flavours that last throughout.

D-Beyond drinkable--->Full of flavour yet "light"! How can this be? Super smooth and absolutely poundable. A near perfect example of the cask delivered English Porter...this is my benchmark!

Serving type: cask

07-21-2009 13:08:49 | More by Deuane
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From Notes)

On tap at Elephant and Castle.

For an English porter, rather typical of the style. But not really exceptional in any way, just a solid beer.

Dark brown, a touch clear and watery on the edges. Can't really see through it, but the head dissipates quickly.

Smell is a touch smoky, nutty, and malty with a touch of dark chocolate on the end.

A creamy texture despite a relatively watery body for a porter. Low ABV of 5.4% (for an English porter) drinks well, but a little too light-bodied. Has a nice balance and a little cherry and plum on the back end, which, combined with the minimal carbonation, make the beer a touch sour, but finishes well.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2009 12:05:18 | More by TLove
Photo of SykDoc
SykDoc

Wisconsin

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass. It pours a dark brown and is practically opaque when held to the light with a deep ruby appearance. A 1/2 inch beige head forms and reduces to a very nice lacy.

The aroma is quite good with some roasted coffee notes, dark chocolate, and a pleasant earthy hops present in the background. Mild but nice nuttiness.

The taste is very good. There is a good mix of coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel. Some english hops again lurk in the middle.

The mouthfeel was a bit light for me. It was light/medium bodied with a light level of carbonation, which could have improved the beverage. Reasonably smooth and mildly creamy was to its benefit.

Overall, I did feel this beer was quite drinkable for a multitude of reasons, although there was definitely room for improvement. I would happily enjoy another and hope to have one in its homeland sometime in the near future.

Serving type: can

07-09-2009 01:11:11 | More by SykDoc
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the LCBO in the London, Ontario - served in a pint glass. Best before April 18th, 2010.

A - Two fingers of tan foam that quickly dissipates to a half-inch cap with minimal lace. Dark transparent cherry-wood-finish brown color that's quite attractive. Lots of visible carbonation.

S - Lots of roastiness, coffee, cocoa, and maybe some Christmas-y cookie spice in there too. Really intense smell that jumps out of the glass.

T - Flavor is largely baker's chocolate, without anywhere near as much depth as the smell. The roastiness really only makes an appearance in the aftertaste, and it's pretty mild even then. Solid, but very straightforward.

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied, with active carbonation that isn't overdone. Pretty creamy other than the slight carbonation tingle. There's lots of residual stickiness in the finish. Could use a little more viscosity, even though it's a lower ABV porter.

D - Drinking a 500ml can is no problem - the roastiness never gets out of hand and the ABV is pretty forgiving. This is one of the best options that is always available at the LCBO.

Serving type: can

06-19-2009 02:03:26 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been used to this beer from the bottle but recently had it on nitro-tap and it far surpassed just about everyother porter or stout I've had on a nitro tap before, smooth and creamy, not watery, and with full-bodied flavour and character.

It is practically black, just barely a deep red-brown colour being visible. It has a big, thick, creamy dark tan head, shrinking very slowly, leaving ltos of lace, and staying rich and creamy the whole way through.

The aroma is rich chocolate, earthy leaves, light roasted coffee, and hints of caramelised prunes and licorice.

The taste is wonderfully full-bodied with rich chocolate, caramelised fruit, coffee, earthy singed leaves, anise, and fermented prunes near the finish, slightly vinegary. The character is wonderfully balanced and smooth, the elements integrated nicely, and it has definite light sweetness and bitterness.

The feel is excellent. Not only does it have a rich, very creamy had but, unlike others on nitro which may be watery underneath the head, the whole thing is nicely full, creamy, and a bit oily.

This is simply an outstandin porter however you have it.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-05-2009 17:55:40 | More by Offa
Photo of Goliath
Goliath

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, with some ruby hues. A large inch and a half light tan head forms on the pour and lingers with excellent retention.

The aroma is really nice. A little roasty with some big chocolate tones and a hint of coffee.

The taste is very nice with a big smack of roasted grain giving some bitter dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. It's really quite good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a rather flat and watery feel.

Drinkability is high. The ABV is easily managed making for a more sessionable beer. The flavor profile is quite nice as well making it easy to sit back and enjoy this British pint. Can't believe I let this sit on the store shelf so long before taking one of my own home.

Serving type: can

05-29-2009 23:04:32 | More by Goliath
Photo of wiseguy142
wiseguy142

New York

4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got a chance to pick up a pint of this on cask at the Old Toad the other night. Really great stuff. Smooth and creamy off the cask with a decent head. Brown, thick, and real beer. Makes me thirsty.

Taste is really out of this world. Rich with chocolate and real ale taste but not fruity like a lot of other American porters which keeps it a little more quaffable and unique. Not overly bitter at any point during the beer from either hops or roasted malt. Just amazing balance.

Serving type: cask

05-27-2009 04:55:53 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of MeisterBurger
MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, really dark ruby-brown with a head and sufficient lacing.

Smells a bit like roasted cedar with some mild chocolate and coffee.

The taste is rich and roasty, definitely has the dried fruit taste you'd expect in a porter, slightly smoky, with some malt sweetness and just a tinge of bitterness lingering in the aftertaste.

It's a pretty solid example of a porter. The writing on the can says it's "rich, dark & complex". Well, one out of three ain't bad. Because it's dark. But it's too thin bodied to be rich, even if it does have a creamy, smooth mouthfeel. And it hits all the marks of the style but in a pretty straightforward and non-complex way.

That said, it's a great beer and I guess sometimes not having much to say about a beer is a good thing.

Serving type: can

05-18-2009 01:54:46 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of DiabolikDUB
DiabolikDUB

Oregon

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Can into Pint glass.

Pours a deep brown that has mahogany edges with a creamy light tan head. Aroma is full of milk chocolate, vanilla and a dash of coffee. The flavor has dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, some coffee and nuttiness but its smooth. Its a medium-bodied beer that is slightly chewy but its definitely an easy drinker. This is a classy beer, extremely drinkable and would love to try this on-tap.

Serving type: can

05-16-2009 20:49:49 | More by DiabolikDUB
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep Mahogany colored beer. Slightly transparent. Not as black as other Porters. Unlike the bottle I had a while back, this canned version had a dense tan head that stuck around and left a fair amount of lace.

S: Great. Heavy chocolate and vanilla aroma can be sensed from a long ways way. Getting closed revealed some charcoaled wood and a touch of licorice.

T: A lot going on here. Again, chocolate dominates. It's joined by licorice, burnt malt, and subtle blackberry and cherry flavors. A mild burnt bitterness comes on late to provide balance. It lingers into the dry finish. I found the taste growing on me as I drank.

M: Just about perfect. Medium body feels silky and smooth. Carbonation is just right.

D: I was surprised at the differences between the canned and bottled versions of this beer. Both are great Porters. Relatively low ABV makes it easy to have another. I will be visiting this again.

Serving type: can

04-27-2009 15:32:38 | More by Rayek
Photo of TheycallmeTim
TheycallmeTim

New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at ChipShop in Brooklyn, Atlantic Ave. location. Served in an imperial tulip pint.

A--Deep deep ruby red that looks black in muted lighting. Toward the bottom the garnet and ruby notes come out. Body's gorgeous, but the head's wimpy on this pour--ultrathin fingernail of white dense cream. Could use some more here for aromatics.

S--I know how this beer is supposed to smell, and I swished it some with my finger, otherwise you'd think the nose was unremarkable. In fact it's got wet coffee grounds' sharp aroma tempered but the smoothest, most expensive milk chocolate you'll ever buy. Somehow it's sweet and silky without losing the bitter edge chocolate should have. Speaking of chocolate, the straight nearly burnt roasted notes of the malt come through in the middle of the nose.

T--Very similar to the nose, and powerful without being overpowerful. More and more of that first-rate Swiss milk chocolate sliding down without being milky or simple, cut by those deep roasty coffee notes. This is pretty much a Platonic porter. Can't say enough about it--highwires the line of being big but not a stout beautifully. Very, very suggestive--one of those perfect profiles that nudges you toward so many flavors and lets your imagination round them out in this weird consummation that I call zen beer moments but you will call fruity beer reviewer syndrome, no doubt.

M&D--Mouthfeel's ultra smooth and creamy, medium-bodied. The flavor's are big so the drinkability gets cut down a bit, but a couple pints of this are like nothing. Try it with dessert, as I did--you won't be disappointed!

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2009 19:12:50 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of Spikester
Spikester

Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown almost black. Large two finger light tan head. Some sheet lacings. Aroma is cocoa malts. Taste is burnt brown sugar molasses dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Medium dry bitter finish. Silky on the tongue. Easy drinker leaves you wanting more. Carbonation is minimal but that seems to be typical for British beers.

Serving type: can

04-03-2009 08:36:01 | More by Spikester
Photo of TheHammer
TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Came in a brown can, nothing special. Poured with half a finger of creamy head that sustained but did not lace. The beer itself is a red tinged black. Some signs of carbonation though, despite the dark color. Not a fan of the quality of the lace.

Smell - Dark roasted burnt malt scent with a bit of coffee undertone. A slight touch of vanilla is also present. It's nice, but it took a bit of warming for it to come out.

Taste - This is quite nice, starts with a mild chocolate flavor and then turns to a pleasant bitter and malty flavor although seems a bit too burnt for my liking. It then melds with a slight trace of fruity hops.

Mouthfeel - The burnt taste lingers for some time, but thankfully it isn't that strong or build as you drink it. The carbonation I also find to be a bit lacking. That being said, it is incredibly smooth. That and the head while it lasted was quite creamy and good.

Drinkability - I could put more then a couple of these back, for sure. It's refreshing, light on the gut, doesn't cause any bloating and if it swapped a bit of the burn flavor for a bit more sweetness, it'd be exceptional. I did not expect this from a porter.

Final Thoughts - Got this one from ludachris, all in all, quite good. I wouldn't call it truly exceptional, but for the most part a solid offering. I can see why my brother swears by this stuff. I'd like to see instead of Guinness on tap, without a doubt.

Serving type: can

03-31-2009 03:16:56 | More by TheHammer
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the hand pump at Memphis taproom in a pint glass.

A- Fuller's London Porter came to me looking a very dark brown bordering on black. A tight off white head was on the top of the liquid while there was a nice amount of lacing.

S- Very pleasant with dark roasted malts chocolate and more roasted coffee in the forefront. Getting more into it some burnt aroma's come forth.

T- Mirrors the smell with a nice balance between the sweet chocolate and burnt coffee bean like flavor. Deep roasted malts are all around this and make up for a good amount of the taste. Some dry bitterness after a few ounces or so.

M- Smooth off the hand pump and steps above the bottled version. This one glides down the mouth with just a few rough edges here and there. a step above medium bodied with minimal carbonation and just a pleasure to sip or gulp depending on your mood.

D- In the realm of a sessionable beer with enough flavor to keep the good times rolling. I probably will never attempt to drink this from a bottle after having it this way. Smooth and silky with a stand out roasted character to itself. Would love to try this with some dark meats to go along with it. One of my favorites from the u.k.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2009 05:43:26 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soot covered chestnut, the beer is largely black although bright spots of iron oxide are easy for the eye to spot. Despite the polish, it remains opaque even when held up against the light. A fast-paced pour could invigorate no cream but rather a tiny comb over and a collection of airy bubbles (is it just me or do all these UK cans produce flat beers?) This looks as though it were drawn from hand pump.

The aroma brings to mind a few things. First thing to pop in my head was ashes, something like the scent of charred wood. Second, and I believe this now to be more obvious than the first, is the smell of chocolate brownies that are maybe a little crusty on top and perhaps a little burnt on the bottom. Lastly, really stale and flat black coffee makes a minor contribution. Altogether it smells dark and roasty, just like it should!

You know how I know this mouthfeel has been massacred by the can? Because I've tried it from bottle and from tap and can tell you for a fact that this beer is capable of being far more roasty, chocolaty, gratifyingly bitter and pronounced in other serving types. I'm not necessarily one to say that bottles are better than cans, but I do certainly feel that way about most British offerings. This is one of them.

All that said, the beer remains wonderfully tasty and enjoyable nonetheless. Notes of sweetened milk chocolate, bitter coffee grinds and a handful of toasted almonds make for a delicious porter no matter how it's served. The roast is vivid (nearly burnt) and conjures thoughts of rich, dark cocoa solids bubbling over the stove top. A flavour profile like this could pair up with just about any barbecued meat, heavy cheese or chocolaty dessert.

I'm sure if you ask around a lot of people might tell you that Fuller's London Porter is what turned them onto dark beer; it certainly isn't hard to acquire a taste for gratifying, bittersweet flavours like these. Nor is it hard to acknowledge the fullness and satisfaction you have come an empty glass. Fuller's calls their London Porter "the world's finest" which may be an exaggeration, but not by much...

Serving type: can

03-26-2009 22:58:01 | More by biegaman
Photo of dude
dude

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark and opaque. Aromas of charcoal smoke and black olives. Taste is initially of chocolate, followed by coffee and finishes with a lingering bitter and smoky aftertaste. There's a metallic aftertaste that goes away after a couple of sips. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Good drinkability although I have had better porters.

Serving type: cask

03-11-2009 22:37:44 | More by dude
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First impression: This is an exceptionally light porter.
Second thought: Beer latte.

Pours a very dark amber color, but is somewhat translucent. Not very carbonated and not very heady, little or no lacing. Definitely not what I've come to expect from porters.

Smells mostly of coffee, a little of toffee, a little nutty.

Tastes light and chocolatey with a strong coffee aftertaste. Slight hint of smoke.

Mouthfeel is very light and surprisingly pleasant. Quite drinkable -- maybe refreshing.

Serving type: can

03-11-2009 03:39:06 | More by snaotheus
Photo of Greggy
Greggy

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a 1.5 finger creamy tan head over a dark brown body. Great retention on the head.

S- Chocolate, cream, some sourness (not off flavor), apple notes, suggestions of coffee.

T- Starts out with a creamy subtle coffee and chocolate note with very slight roastiness. The finish is where it comes alive with dark roasted chocolate, suggestions of cofffee and cream. The finish lasts quite a while and reminds me of a nice french silk pie.

M- Low carbonation and very low mouthfeel.

D- Quite a tasty porter and not heavy at all. Definitely one you could session.

Serving type: can

03-05-2009 20:57:58 | More by Greggy
Photo of Folderol
Folderol

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was quite pleased to find this stuff in (non-nitro) 16.9 oz cans. This is why I bought that Guinness pint glass!

Appearance was good, typical of a porter - dark but not opaque, I could see some light through the red-brown body. Nice tight 3/4" head, it looked almost like a nitro pour. Smell was roasty, bordering on stout.

What struck me about the taste is how much this reminded me of the Irish stouts. I gather that way way back when, Guinness draught was their version of porter, so that makes sense. Both brews have that astringent roasty flavor, but where Guinness tends toward a sour finish, Fuller's goes to astringent bitterness, something I associate with black malt. All in all a decent brew, but not as rich or sweet as I would like.

Serving type: can

03-02-2009 14:44:09 | More by Folderol
Photo of Infamous7100
Infamous7100

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A very dark, near opaque liquid. Burnt caramel perhaps.
S: Comes at you with a roasty, malty smell. Definitley some coffee and bitter chocolate as well.
T: The bitter chocolate comes into play here, as well as the coffee and malt. A little bitter, but sweetens just a bit when the chocolate comes to play.
M: Very smooth, but not creamy. Goes down quite easy. Very little hang.
D: One could drink this a session beer, but I don't believe I would. Good for a cold night.

I had high hopes for this brew and while it wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, it didn't measure up to what I was expecting.

Serving type: can

02-28-2009 15:10:52 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown with a small head

Smell: roasted coffee, and come caramel, small chocolate

Taste: coffee, sweet cream, vanilla, and some chocolate--very complex

Mouthfeel: light and smooth, but filling

Drinkability: Another great porter that is very complex...I could easily have a six.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2009 19:19:17 | More by tigg924
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 500-ml can into an English stein.

Appearance - dark, cola black appearance with light brown foam head.

Smell - licorice and chocolate aromas.

Taste - unbelievable, complex flavors layered upon each other. Alternates between malty and dessert ingredient unsweetened chocolate, with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - rich tasting and delicate, filled with character.

Drinkability - one only. This is a treat. I wouldn't have another until next Sunday.

Serving type: can

02-15-2009 22:48:49 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of kshankar
kshankar

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark..black with an off white head. Head doesn't have too much retention, goes away fairly quickly

Aroma: Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts

Taste: Like the smell..very good. Malty with accents of the chocolate and coffee coming through

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth..goes down well

Drinkability: Good ABV, taste and mouthfeel. Works for me in this category

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2009 03:20:46 | More by kshankar
Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
94 out of 100 based on 1,902 ratings.