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Fuller's London Porter - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,301 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

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Ratings: 2,301
Reviews: 1,166
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 190
Gots: 204 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-20-2001

Fuller's London Porter is an award-winning example of this historic English style; smooth and creamy with delicious chocolate and coffee flavors derived from the roasted malt.

The griffin Brewery is Chiswick, London, has brewing fine ales since 1654.

The Fuller, Smith & Turner partnership dating back to 1845, brews an excellent range of award-winning beers, many of which are available in the U.S. including London Pride pale ale and the Old's original ESB.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,301 | Reviews: 1,166
Photo of Offa
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of Goliath
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with an initially stiff toffee/caramel colored head that sticks around for a while before settling to a creamy layer over the top. Some lacing, but nothing too impressive.

S: Sweet dark toffee, chocolate, roasted malts. Very smooth and inviting. The second I stuck my nose towards the glass I could tell this one was gonna be good.

T&M: Initially sweet chocolate flavor that yields to some dark roasted barley flavors. There's a spiciness from the hops near the end, and the finish is long and filled with coffee and roasted malt. Complex and bold. The body is medium, but light for a porter. Carbonation is light and restrained, just right.

D: In my book, porters should have the malty flavors of a stout with the drinkability of a pale ale. Fuller's London Porter has both, and drinks easier than your average pale ale. This is a highly drinkable, flavorful beer that I will definitely be seeking out again.

Photo of wiseguy142
4.4/5  rDev +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.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A--Pours a very deep shade of brown in my Dogfish Head signature glass. I thought I gave it a careful pour, but within seconds an out of control four finger head billowed up and made me abruptly stop the pour. This usually only happens with Belgians for me...oops. Some lacing is left in spots.

S--Smell is sweet dark malts, nuts, spices, clove, cocoa. Nice and complex, and somewhat unique.

T--Sweet roasted malts make up most of the flavor profile, some coffee bitterness emerges. Hmm...have to say that I am underwhelmed (seems to be the norm for me with porters). There is really not even much for me to describe here. Its a nice porter but "nice" is about it

M--On the heavier side of medium bodied

D--This just doesn't do it for me, it's solid but I don't really care to have any more

Photo of Orangevango
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: It is a nice dark brown (bordering on black) with a thin, cream colored head that sticks around a while.

S: My first impression is GRAPE SODA, but it morphs into coffee and chocolate, maybe toffee?

T: very mild, not too roasty, nor too bitter. Light roast notes accentuate a slight sweetness. Very round and balanced. The only flavor fault in my book is a slight metalic aftertaste.

M: Very low carbonation, silky. Almost oily.

D: This is a session beer, I could sit down to several pints of this easily. Tasty and downright quaffable.

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma - Dark peaty roasted malt aroma

Appearance - Poured a dark dark red with decent amounts of carbonation leading to a nice tan head.

Taste - Dark roasted malts coffee, coffee, and coffee. This is a fine tasting porter.

Mouthfeel - thick but with decent amounts of carbonation.

This is may be the best porter I have tried. This next to a Samuel Smiths would be interesting.

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of drunkboxer1
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown. There is very little head on it dispite my hard pour (felt little bit of a let down). I do remember this having a bigger head on draft so maybe it was something in the bottle or perhaps I poured it shitty. Smells like coffee and a lot of roasted malt. Tastes very strongly of roasted flavors, coffee like bitterness, and very dark chocolate. These mix with a very strong metallic/earthy hop flavor to make a very interesting porter. This is definitely something to have again. Went very well on a rainy day.

Photo of DiabolikDUB
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of julian1117
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Visual Appeal: burnt amber, but not as charcoal as a Guiness

Smell: wonderful hint of compote/cooked fruit with syrup

Flavor: dark and fruity, layer of bitterness, entirely smokey

Mouthfeel: not as creamy as I would want, slight effervescence

Drinkability: average ABV makes this relatively high

Recommended to me by men online. Very pleasing, but certainly not my favorite beer or style of beer. VERY smokey.

Photo of prototypic
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

London Porter pours a dark brown cola color. Light easily slices through revealing nice ruby highlights. A gorgeous mocha tan head covers it and stands a couple of fingers tall. It receded slowly and left a light, but sticky lacing lining the glass.

The nose is underpowered and a little lacking. Roasted malts are easily the strongest scent. Chocolate malts give it a light cocoa aroma and round it its malty characteristics. They're not a bad mix, just on the weak side. Roasted coffee or espresso is a secondary feature, but it adds a lot to the nose and drives it above average. There's a lingering graininess to it. All in all, it's easily above average. Just a little more strength would help.

The flavor is very consistent with the nose. Roasted and chocolate malts give it a nice, flavorful kickoff. Roasted malts are stronger. The chocolate variety's a little bittersweet. Coffee does complement the malty flavors well and proves to be the force behind the flavor as a whole. It's a little acidic toward the end. Grain and barley flavors permeate. It can't be characterized as deep or complex, but it is a fine tasting English Porter. The flavors come through stronger than the nose would suggest and it's impressive overall.

It has a light body that feels too thin. Carbonation feels light, but doesn't really help smooth it out much. It's just doesn't have enough body to satisfy. Pretty average in that respect. Drinkability, on the other hand, is above average. London Porter goes down easy and has a good flavor. There's not enough to entertain me for an entire night. But, there's enough to get by for a beer or two.

London Porter's a very solid English Porter. If you're looking for a pretty flavorful beer that's easy to toss back, you've come to the right place. To be honest, it's not quite as good as I expected. I anticipated more flavor, depth, and character. But, it's a pretty well put together beer for the style. Perhaps I'm just not the biggest English Porter fan. Well worth checking out in any event.

Photo of Rayek
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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

Mostly clear, with some highlights of crimson around the edges of a dark, chestnut brown brew. Decent-looking head and lace.

The aroma is mostly roasted malt notes of coffee and dark chocolate, and the taste is the same. Quite possibly the most "coffee" like porter I've ever tasted. Nice mouthfeel, a little thin and bubbly but really not bad at all.

The complexity really isn't there, but hint of smoke, molasses, earthy and floral hops are enough to keep me interested, and the dry, husky finish keeps it drinkable. Solid effort.

Photo of grayburn
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer sets the standard for porters in my opinion.

She pours a ruddy brown with a smallish head that has good retention and lacing.

The smell is very roasty and nutty, with a bit of bitter chocolate in there as well. A wee bit of alcohol is floating around.

The taste is the quintissential porter. Roasty, some dried fruit, toffee, chocolate, caramel...this beer is just loaded with tons and tons of flavor. Very complex and delicious, I cannot imagine a better tasting porter.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Medium body with decent carbonation.

I could drink this beer all night, delicious and highly drinkable. Stellar beer.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a deep, dark chestnut color with about an inch of creamy ecru foam that lingers for a bit, leaving behind minimal lacing. A great looking pour(sorry, I drink with my eyes first and foremost). Smells and tastes of milk chocolate, bittersweet cocoa, frsh, rich coffee beans, and caramelized malts. Nice! A notch or two above medium in both body and carbonation. Every lover of porters needs to check this one out.

Photo of Seanstoppable
3.56/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring into a pint glass results in a jet black ale with a bit of head that evaporates quickly, leaving minor lacing on the glass. Smell is very slight, but contains some mocha hints. Taste starts out bitter with some medium roasted coffee flavor, but evolves into more chocolaty than coffee flavor. Slightly dry, but very drinkable overall. I would probably save it for after a meal, instead of a complement to one, like a post-dinner coffee or chocolate.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

Photo of flexinwext
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep brown/black color. Completely opaque. Tons of burnt coffee aroma eminating from the glass. Little to no head, no lacing present. Very little carbonation to speak of but I suppose thats to style. This beer as a pretty decent body and goes down smooth. Of all the porters I've tried, this is about middle ground. Very drinkable due to low ABV and I could probably drink a few of these happily.

Photo of Spikester
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of TheHammer
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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...

Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Had this a few times on tap around town, time to see what it's like in this more portable format, methinks.

This beer pours a clear, deep, very dark ruddy brown hue, with strong hints of more reddish highlights at the lower edges, with a puffy thicket of densely foamy beige head, which leaves some randomly splattered swaths of sudsy lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells rather strongly of roasted chocolate malt, bitter cold coffee, a bit of sticky molasses, and musty leafy, somewhat floral hops. The taste is more toasted caramel malt, medium baker's chocolate, somewhat dry, and faintly sour cafe-au-lait, a smooth oily nuttiness, with those subtle noble English hops rounding things out nicely.

The carbonation is pretty tame, and understated in its workings, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, dead smooth, and a bit creamy on top of it all. It finishes well off-dry, the rich, nutty chocolate maltiness really having the run of the house.

This is a paragon for the style - a slick, smooth as silk operator, and deftly commendable as a cold-weather sipper, though worthy of a go anytime you might come across it, I would put forth.

Photo of argock
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased from Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.15.

A: Deep mocha brown with 1-2 finger tan head with good retention and spare lacing.

S: A wide range of great aromas including vanilla, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark malt, and leafy and floral hops.

T: A bit too burnt for my personal taste but still well-crafter porter with smooth blending of coffee, chocolate, nut, and hard-toasted dark malts with prominent and bitter leafy hops. Moderately acrid finish.

M: Smooth and easy to drink with low carbonation and dlightly burned dark malt aftertaste.

D: A very good porter with a well-rounded nutty, cocoa flavor. One of the standard-bearers for the style, although others are a lot more adventurous.

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Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
93 out of 100 based on 2,301 ratings.