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
94
outstanding

1,161 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

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Reviews: 1,161
Hads: 2,374
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.29%
Wants: 205
Gots: 256 | 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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Reviews: 1,161 | Hads: 2,374
Photo of justintcoons
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance
Extremely dark brown, almost black, with some red highlights. 1-2 fingers of light brown head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Nose
Dark roast coffee, chocolate and caramel.

Taste
Follows the nose pretty much exactly. Dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, roasted barley and caramel. Light notes of earthy char and touches of earthy hops.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, balanced and crisp.

Overall
Dark, roasty and sweet. Tons of coffee and chocolate. This is just right. (505 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into pint glass, best before 8/6/2013. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, cream, roasted malt, coffee, toast, light dark fruit, and light herbal hops. Fantastic aromas with great balance and strength. Taste of milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, citrus, toast, and herbal. Good amount of citrus and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, toast, cocoa, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and robustness; zero cloying flavors on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol presence is invisible, with zero warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is a fantastic English porter! Great flavor robustness and balance; and extremely smooth to drink. Simply outstanding. I can’t believe I haven’t had this before. (1,122 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown color with a one finger cream head. The head has a decent level of retention, eventually fading to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a wonderful blend of sweet chocolate and caramel, dark fruits of cherry, a bit of coffe and a good roasted brown bread smell. It is sweet and dark in aroma. Very nice.

Taste – The flavor begins of more brown bread with some notes of caramel sweetness. The caramel sweetness is enhanced as the flavor moves on and is meet by some mild chocolate flavors. These flavors create a rather sweet and bready flavor. The flavor then begins to dry out ever so slightly in the end with some bitter sweet chocolate and coffee flavors coming to the tongue. The mix of all the flavors combined together well and leave a very pleasant cocoa espresso flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – For an only 5.4 % abv beer the body of the beer is on the smoother and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. The feel is wonderful for all the dark and bittersweet flavors of the brew accentuating them and allowing them all to properly mellow on the tongue.

Overall – This is a fantastic brown ale. It has a great flavor with fantastic transitions. It has a great feel and a wonderful smell to boot A very good one to try if you have the chance. Delicious. (1,397 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown-mahogany pour with caramel colored two finger head with good retention and decent lacing. Rich and roasty nose with hints of cocoa, dark fruit, coffee, molasses, toffee, and just a touch of metal. The taste follows suit with lots of fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate, figs, nuts, toffee, tobacco, wood, and some mineral notes as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth as silk with a great dry, subtly bitter finish. Hugely drinkable and not heavy at all. Truly a world class Porter! (501 characters)

Photo of Gregfalone
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre California. Standard pint glass

This beer pours beautifully. As it pours int the cup from the tap it turns to a light brown froth that billows from the bottom up, slowly turning from a dense foam into a brownish black liquid with a 1/2 inch head that last until empty, leaving the most perfect lacing ive ever seen, all the way to the bottom of the glass. even on the bottom of the glass... Very beautiful to watch. This only seems to happen on tap, I haven't been able to pour this effect with a bottle.

The smell is dark chocolate with coffee, some toasty malt, and a light sweetness. Nothing that particularly stands out.

The taste is fantastic and matches the nose only with the sweetness less prominent.

Mouthfeel is medium body, and silky smooth, among the smoothest, if not THE smoothest beer I've ever had the pleasure to drink.

Overall I think this is one of my favorite beers of all time. Enlih porter is my favorite style, and I'm not sure if I prefer this or taddy porter. In bottle form I'd choose the taddy, but the London porter on tap takes the cake... Until I can find taddy on tap, I can't say which is my top beer. (1,205 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fuller’s London Porter has a thin-to-medium beige head and a dark brown or almost black appearance (ruby under direct sunlight). There is not much lacing associated with this. The aroma is of rich, dark-roasted malt, chocolate, dark coffee, and sweetness. Taste is the same, with chocolate powder and some burnt aspects. Bitterness is low. Mouthfeel is low medium, and Fuller’s London Porter finishes refreshing, mellow, and highly drinkable. Overall, this really is a world-class beer!

RJT (496 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.
A - pitch black with a finger of head, dissipating fairly quickly.
S - subtle roasted smell.
T- roasted coffee. Bitter, dark chocolate.
M - medium feel but pleasant.
O - very nice porter, perfect balance of flavors with alcohol. (254 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep rich brown. Head is khaki and drops to a small cap and collar in short order. Pours nice and smooth. Minimal carbonation

Smell: Deeply roasted and chocolaty. Slight burnt edge. Milk chocolate, cocoa nibs. Sweet and roasty. Nice edge of British least and water. Adds some minerality and slight earthiness to the experience. Bread crust and caramel malt sweetness. Toasted edge.

Taste: Even more roasted than the nose indicates. Big rich chocolaty malts. Some cocoa and burnt sugar. Warm brown bread with a nice British yeast bite. Some old coffee, but it's really all about the sweet, caramelly, roasted malts. Incredibly breadth with a backing British minerality. Some grassy notes as well. Vaguely herbal.

Mouthful: Super smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation on a medium body. So easy to drink.

Overall: Yup, it's good.

Fuller's sets the bar again. Nice blend of British water and yeast with a great malt profile. Easy drinking and sweet enough to feel like liquid bread. (1,002 characters)

Photo of philbe311
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Slightly more than a finger's worth of slightly creamy active effervescent light brown colored froth... Slight retention gives way to a mostly full veil of lacing in slight collar... The color is murky and borders between a dark menacing brown and light flat black... A bit of light seems to leak in around the edges of the glass... Mostly still with only a couple of small carbonation bubbles rising towards the top as they cling to the sides of the glass...

S - Very nice balance and complexity... Milk chocolate... Cream... Light roasted malts notes... Light coffee notes... Some dark fruit and raisins as well... Simple and spot on for the style, but extremely well executed...

T - The palate is a mirror image of the aroma... Everything in equal proportions...

M -Medium bodied... Sleek... Light carbonation with a bit of a bite... Starts with an touch of lushness and finished a touch on the dry side... Even and consistent... Maybe a bit thin..

D - Completely satisfying... Textbook English Porter that everyone should experience... I can't say a bad thing about this beer... Lots of character and charm for a 5.4% ABV offering... I could enjoy quite a few of these in a sitting... I would gladly indulge in this again and highly recommend... (1,259 characters)

Photo of dtreindl
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best porter I've ever had. As someone who often prefers the American versions of European classics, I must give highest praises for this beauty of a porter. Purchased by chance because I haven't had an English porter recently. So I figured I owed it to my good friends across the pond to give one a try. Color, head, aroma - that doesn't matter. Those are all good. But the overwhelming strength of this beer is in the luscious flavor. Rich, toasty, caramelized malted barley deliciousness! In one of my first few sips I swear the flavor changed dramatically as it washed over my tongue. It progressed through waves of creamy, chocolatey, toasty, and bitter flavors. Quite the complex malt character this porter has!

If you ever find it, try it. (746 characters)

Photo of draheim
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz (best before 9/30/2012; oh well) into a snifter. Pours a somewhat thin cola brown aw/ a dense mocha head.

Aroma is dark roasty malt, chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruit.

Taste is sharply bitter and roasty with hints of chocolate and toffee.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Smooth drinking, just a tad thin.

Overall a solid representation of the style, comparable to Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter. (427 characters)

Photo of GMB
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fuller's London porter pours a gorgeous black body that shows glimpses of deep red when held against a strong light source. A standard pour yields a thick cappuccino head with a bit of staying power that leaves bands of lace on the glass as it slowly falls.

The nose is clean and inviting. Deep, roasted malts suggest coffee and warm chocolate without losing their grainy identity.

The taste follows the nose closely, with the important addition of a beautiful bitter hang. The bitterness sustains the illusion of dark chocolate and dark, roasted coffee without concealing the sweetness of the malt. The beer's relatively low alcohol content also allows the toasted malts to suggest nutty flavors. I pick up a bit of toasted almond. The beer's overall balance yields a delicious porter that is clean, markedly drinkable, and refreshing.

The beer's body is full, but could be a bit thicker and more viscid.

A recent wave of American porters in which adjuncts or specialized malts are used to foreground the flavors that classical porters like this one suggest Here, I am thinking of the dozens of nutty (e.g., pecan) porters, chocolate porters, coffee porters, etc., that I have tried in recent years. Fuller's London Porter achieves similar effects while maintaining a lightness and drinkability. Outstanding. (1,314 characters)

Photo of AmitC
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

They say do not judge a book by its cover. Well, if you look at the label you get the feel that you are going to drink something exceptional.

Not at all disappoints.

London is where porter style was developed and this one has a fitting name.

Pours very dark opaque dark brown in color. Just like the color of espresso. Thin tan head which is a delight and looks like the one on a coffee.

Smell it and you think that you are going to drink a mixture of coffee and chocolate. Good tinge of coffee aroma and roasted malts, which grows on you. Very typical of stouts and porters, but a little distinct in that it is a bit more complex than that.

Taste is where this can't be beaten. Awesome coffee and toffee taste, which i think actually comes from roasting of malts. Very natural.

For a porter it has good mouth feel. Light to medium bodied. Not very heavy.

Overall excellent stuff from London. (903 characters)

Photo of mjtiernan
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a straight-sided pint glass. Best before 29 APR 13.

A: Three fingers of khaki head. Body is mostly opaque with some brown highlights around the edges of the glass. Quite a bit of lacing.

S: Light toffee/caramel, toasted grain and some breadiness.

T: Subtle floral hops show first, followed by pronounced toasted grain and nuttiness that leads you through the middle and into the dry finish. There is a slight vegetal aftertaste.

M: Body is light to medium and texture is somewhere between watery and oily. Soft carbonation and a dry somewhat astringent finish.

O: As with others of this style, it gets high marks for drinkability. Not quite as good as Taddy Porter, but certainly a great beer for a cool fall evening like tonight. (760 characters)

Photo of morimech
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with just over one finger of head that had excellant retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Spotty lacing is left down the glass.

What a wonderful aroma. Dark malt gives nice chocolate notes. English hops add pleasant floral and herbal aromas. And the yeast adds a touch of esters.

The flavor follows the path of the aroma. Nice dark malt flavor featuring chocolate and coffee. Surprising level of English hop flavor that I just cannot get enough of. Despite the hop flavor, bitterness is low and mellow. Just hard to imagine this could be improved upon.

The body is not the fullest but for a beer with this ABV, is adequate. Pleasant level of carbonation.

The classic English porter that is one of the best porters brewed today. Just a wonderfully crafted ale. (787 characters)

Photo of crnipeter
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently opaque dark-brown body approaches to clear and shows ruby hue when held
to light. Light tan head is fairly thick and holds well supported by moderate carbonation.

Nose is a blend of mild roasted malt with chocolate qualities and non-roasted malt that contributes sweet and nutty aromas. A careful sniffing reveals brown sugar/caramel and a even a faint vestige of dark-fruit esters.

Flavor is marked by heavily roasted malt that yields bitter dark chocolate & mocha yet is neither acrid nor burnt. Body is well attenuated and the overall flavor hangs suspended somewhere between being slightly malty or slightly bitter from vegetal hops and roastiness; the later two combined with carbonation lend dry finish.

Medium-light body with creamy texture and silk-smoothness.

Overall, a fundamental, wonderful porter that is not called "world's finest" for nothing. (500 ml into pint, BB 2013-08-06) (911 characters)

Photo of Mavigo
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a fine black with tinges of red, doesn't have much of a head, tan in color, dissipates quickly with minimal amounts of lacing.

S: like dark chocolate, hops, caramel, coffee, toasted malt, smokey

T: Very complex, coffee flavors, chocolate, vanilla, hops, very smokey flavor

M: very fulfilling and refreshing, lots of texture, very carbonated but it adds to the refreshing nature of the beer

O: First beer I've tried from England and its pretty good, very complex but yet not overbearing and very refreshing. Little bit lacking on the flavor side especially for a porter in my opinion, but I like the style going here so it's a beer to get a hold of, the pros way exceed the cons. (692 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hmmm. okay. this is pretty good. another england, another decent brew.
very dark appearance with little head, although that just may be the bottle's trait.
dark chocolate and coffee (no, more espresso) smells and tastes, although not as 'thick' as others in this class. i really like the smell of this. for the style, i gave it a 5 due to the sweet/bitter character but pleasingly refreshing darker notes.
i really enjoyed reading the other reviews. i very much like the taste of this but it's assuring to hear the way others are clamoring over it. i like the lower abv and believe it contributes to the overall taste, but it's not so low that it cancels out the reason for tasting it. i like MAYDAY's review but i cant fathom someone enjoying a brew (MORE?) warm than cooled? especially a stout? i'll have to try this someday. (has anyone ever heard of a BASS CREAM ALE? i thought i remember trying that years ago at DER BARON's in las vegas and it was tart, but creamy. this kind of reminds me of that although i cannot find any tags relating to it...).
overall... what a darn fine product. i didnt expect to see "the bros" rate it so highly, especially since i cosider it more of a 'commercial' brew, but everyone else's reviews support my feelings about this stuff. less of a stout drinker, but i appreciate a really good stout, or porter, once in awhile but more accustomed to the higher abv'ed versions. i recommend this heartily. and because it's 'commercial', it shouldnt be too difficult to find if you have a BEVMO or TOTAL WINE near you . . . . . i would definitely like to find this in a keg somewhere.... (1,617 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is a damn porter. It looks pitch damn black with a nice bubbly off-white head. It smells like heaven. Thick roasted dark chocolate domintes the nose with a hint of light roast coffee coming in as well. It definitely tastes like Edmund Fitzgerald with its bitter chocolate, but the milky smooth chocolate just dominates like crazy. It tastes so god damn smooth and sweet. Theres enough bitterness to offset the uber sweet body.

My god this thing is drinkable. Its already half gone and I havent even started. Holy crap.

Edmund Fitzgerald wants to be this. (565 characters)

Photo of sjtmbg
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If kept cold it will pour to a large, mocha-colored head, but it should be left to warm to cellar temperature to fully enjoy the flavors.

Appearance is the rich deep-brown coffee color that portends the flavor of this classic of the porter style. I don't know of a mass-produced bottled beer that's better than this one. Coffee notes are accompanied by the roasted malt that one would expect of a great porter.

Fortunately this beer is a regular on the shelves of Waitrose and many other places with good selections of bottled beer. (534 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 8/31/12

Appearance: Dark brown, clear and lighter brown around the edges - somewhat fizzy beige head, fades to a small ring somewhat quickly, but it's easy to drum up some carbonation - leaves a few streaks of lacing

Smell: Roasty malts and chocolate - coffee, dark chocolate, and some milk chocolate - some caramel, toffee, and nuts - a touch of minerality and some slight English hop grassiness - really solid for the style

Taste: Chocolate malts and dark chocolate - decidedly chocolatey, but on the dark side, not overly sweet - caramel, toffee, nuts - some minerality, and something wood-like - roasty and dry - mildly bitter, with a notably nice, chocolatey, dry aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, very drinkable

Overall: A standard for the style

I am pretty sure this is the best English Porter I've encountered. It's not particularly exciting in any way, but it's nicely balanced, tasty, and very drinkable. Definitely worth a try. (986 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: nearly black - just some light slips through; nice milky creamy head; moderate lace and motes

S: dark espresso and chocolate malts

T: wow - this is really good - the espresso tastes are bitter but delightfully smooth; some cocoa in the background; a little cigar smoke - excellent balance

M: smooth, rich, but not heavy; great aftertaste

O: no wonder it's at the top of the list, eh? This is a classic, and it is excellent (429 characters)

Photo of meltroha
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: very dark brown, a finger tan head, thin lacing sticks around throughout

S: roast malt, rich dark chocolate, slight coffee and hops

T: aroma comes through in taste. Roast malt bittersweet chocolate and black coffee, hops come through mid mouth and linger with the coffee. No alcohol presence.

M: nice carbonation, medium mouthfeel, not as thick as I would like, but certainly not thin.

O: one of the best porters out there, I compare it to Founders Porter. (463 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
5.4% ABV, Best Before 04 JUN 12

A - Brief cascading results in a tall but short-lived tan head which drapes sheets of lace on the pint above the incredibly dark mahogany brown colored beer.

S - Fuller's London Porter has a rich chocolaty aroma to it that suggests a dark chocolate bar dusted with cocoa and perhaps, some coffee grounds. It's earthy and "old", London Porter has a subtle woody, musty-like aroma which really helps it out, keeping some balance going on.

T - Rich and dark, the flavor is a complex explosion that coats the tongue, requiring many more sips to fully grasp. Bitter coffee and bittersweet chocolate are the initial flavors, while earthy wood-like flavors follow closely with a nuttiness in tow. Sweeping in towards the end is a light but balancing caramel flavor which tops it off nicely.

M - Full-bodied and creamy, the moderate carbonation is almost ignored as this smooth beer glides over the tongue and down the throat with a lingering hard dryness and acrid bitterness from the roasted malt.

O - Roasted and robust, Fuller's London Porter is a chocolate and coffee-like flavored treat which all comes from the malt complexity, no added ingredients! It's full-bodied but at no point does it become thick or undrinkable and it's so bold in flavor, it's impressive the beer remains around 5% alcohol. Fuller's London Porter is a stellar beer for any occasion. (1,429 characters)

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a deep amber verging on brown, decently clear, pours with a two finger head that is very creamy and medium tan, lingers quite nicely, dissipates and leaves a ton of thin sticky lacing on the glass
S: really great toasted malt character, nice chocolate and coffee notes, quite warm and comfortable, cereal grains kinda like cheerios are present as well
T: nice malt backbone really gives the depth and character to the brew, chcolate malts are the most pronounced, a nice sweetness comes through right on the tail end and lingers nicely across the palate, leaves a nice malt presence on the mouth as well, more of those cereal grains mentioned above
M: smooth creamy mouthfeel, thick, very very gentle carbonation tingle, slight astringency on the palate after the finish
O: a really well rounded porter from beginning to end, nice complexity and depth, (887 characters)

Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
94 out of 100 based on 1,161 ratings.