1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Fuller's London Porter - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter

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

2,230 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,230
Reviews: 1,144
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.48%
Wants: 173
Gots: 160 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-20-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fuller's London Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,230 | Reviews: 1,144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BARFLYB
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.

Photo of biegaman
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...

Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
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
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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

Creamy beige head, deep brown colour, lacing. Aroma is heavily roasted, dark chocolate, coffee and brown sugar. Flavour is roasted sweet and plenty of coffee and chocolate. The flavour is very well balanced and yet intriguing. Mouthfeel is very very smooth with small bubbles and it is almost a bit oily.This is a great porter, met my expectations and then some!

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

Got an 11.2 oz bottle of this for free recently. Poured into my pint glass. Bottle has a best by date of March 2006, which I did not become aware of until after the beer was in my possession, but I figured what the hell? I am pretty sure that this bottle was sitting in a fridge for most of those 3 years. The yeast and carbonation are indeed still very active even this 3 years past the best by date! This beer pours a clear, dark brown color with auburn highlights. The tan head is about 3 inches thick when poured,l settling to a good nice after about 5 minutes. Good lacing. Head finally settles to a good 1/3 inch after a few sips/ Good staying power. Aromas of malty chocolate and coffee are certainly present, along with a sort of roasted nut aroma too. Brown nutty, roasted malt and coffee flavor upfront, giving way to sweeter chocolate flavors. Not really any hops, maybe a slight trace at most. Has a crisp, but mainly smooth, creamy, and frothy mouthfeel that coasts your palate. Full body with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink in a good way. I was certainly impressed. Would be curious to try a fresh batch if I can find this in my area. maybe I'll age another bottle or two in my fridge for 3 years past the best by date, because this was damn good!

Photo of dude
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.

Photo of snaotheus
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.

Photo of GodOfBeer
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a nice creamy tan head that leave spotty lacing.

Smells nutty, coffee-like, some caramel toffee and chocolate, not bad.

Nutty, burnt coffee malt flavour, not too sweet, perfectly balanced my some bitterness and nuttiness.

Very creamy mouthfeel, almost like Guinness but this is cheaper and much better.

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Dark brown with a hint of red... I poured this one pretty hard, so I had 2 fingers worth of head... It did disappear quickly, very little lacing.

S: Mocha coffee, chocolate and a hint of malt creamyness. Very nice.

T: Follows the smell mocha coffee.... More on the coffee side...This increases the warmer the beer gets. Little bitter on the aftertaste, very well balanced.

M: Thin at first but creamy at the back of the of the mouth... very little carbonation... Very Porter like.

D: Not the most complex I've had... but overall very drinkable... It goes down very easy. Not as filling as some Porters which makes it a little more drinkable.

Photo of Greggy
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.

Photo of Folderol
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.

Photo of skee1080
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark brown. The beer is relatively clear with a small off-white head. Little noticeable head retention.

S - Intense chocolate is the first thing that hits my nose, and then some roasty coffee aromas. No apparent hop aroma.

T - Roastiness is well balanced with dark chocolate and a slight, slight fruitiness (esters from the English yeast probably). Mild bitterness and no hop flavor.

M - Creamy and full-bodied with mild carbonation.

D - I could easily down a few pints of this in one night! An easy drinking, sessionable beer with the perfect balance of malty sweetness, roasted grains, and hop bitterness. An excellent beer!

Photo of Infamous7100
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.

Photo of bigdeuce
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is a great porter. I have seen better looking porters, but the taste, holy cow!! Pours a dark, opaque color, in the true porter style. Head retention was not high, but honorable. Tastes of chocolate malts, heavy mouthfeel, full of flavor. Damn, did I mention this is great. Smokey traces come through and cut through the malts. Ends dry with a touch of hops. Great, great porter!

Photo of TMinton22
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured a dark brown color that produced a tan head that retained and left a nice lacing

S - Roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate

T - Roasted chocolate malts, coffee, and cream

M - A creamy, medium body, and light carbonation

D - A great porter, something that all that enjoy the dark beers should try

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

Reddish brown color with a head that dissipates rather quickly.
Honey is the predominant smell, with a hint of coffee and molasses.
Honey is once again the key factor to this beer. A slight roasted character is in the mix with a subtle sour taste.
Good mouthfeel. Carbonation right where I would expect it as well as viscosity, not to thick.
A reliable porter, this beer will always be a good choice.

Photo of tigg924
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.

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

Poured a very dark brown color - almost black with a half inch tan head that left adequate lacing on the lacing.

Aroma was of sweet roasted almonds, coffee, dark chocolate, and nutmeg.

Had a smooth caramel flavor with a hint of coffee and a slight hop bitterness.

Medium-full bodied with perfect carbonation. A slight lingering aftertaste begs you to sip some more.

Excellent drinkability, not too heavy on the palate and a decent abv make this brew a good choice to pound all night long.

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

this one pours about as black as a stout with a nice tan head that fades kinda of slowly to a thin frothy head that almost reminds me of a nitrogen conditioned beer. when held up to the light it shows a dark dark brown color, almost ruby. the nose almost reminds me of a guiness only way more complex. lots of coffee aparent, some chocolate, and some really nice roasted malt aromas. a lot of the coffee and chocolate come through in the taste with a little roastiness, finishing with a nice semi bitter chocolate finish that leaves you longing for more. its medium bodied and not too much carbonation, just perfect. this has some great drinkability both cause great taste and average ABV. this is the first one from fuller's that ive had and i really enjoyed, ill definately be picking up some of their other brews. i highly suggest seeking this one out, i only wish that my porter turned out have as good.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
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.

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

Tasted February 13th, 2009.

Appearance is good. Nothing out of the usual. However, this is black so it does look black but not pitch black. Hard to be out of the ordinary with black. Uh!

Smell some chocolate and coffee. Not overwhelming just enough to make me salivate. I like very much. Nice taste.

Pours with a good head that collapse really quickly. Half a finger remain.

Taste:Some dark malt at the beginning which transform with coffee and chocolate taste at the end and in the aftertaste. This is very well balanced. I like it. Second sip, still very good. Taste a little more chocolate than coffee now.

The head is completely gone now. :(

Mouthfeel is thin and clear. Could drink more than one pint of this beer in an evening. Definitely a good beer but not exceptional by my standards.

Cheers!

Photo of Shadman
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fuller brews good beer so I feel fairly safe reviewing this. Wow! I had to wait 5 minutes before the head settled down enough to even have a hope of getting a decent aroma. Lacing coats more of the glass than it leaves blank. Color of dark, rich roast coffee.

Lot's of dark roast coffee and chocolate, with hints of black forest cake.

Certainly more dark roast coffee than chocolate in flavour. Slight smokiness, definite mineral water presence. Hop adds a nice element of bitterness. End with a smoky/coffee/tea-like dry bitterness.

Smooth, but could use just a bit more ooomph in the fullness dept. to put it over the top.

Oh to be able to have this one on tap in the wintertime. Very, very drinkable dark beer.

Photo of Proteus93
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very, very deep rusty brown. It is very close to being opaque, but falls just a little short of it. Puffy tannish head forums beautifully and immediatly begins to leave sticky clumps of lacing

S: Rich and full, but nothing incredibly explosive. Rather, the aromas of roasted malts, lighter coffee and soft chocolate blend together subtly and modest... even noting some scents like nut oils. Quite nice.

T + M: Nice roasted flavours, and a nice hoppy note that doesn't often get noticed - at least not as much - in others. A nice, chocolatey creaminess adds a pleasant touch. The body is very similar in that it is not too heavy or creamy... modest, but certainly not bashful! :P

D: A very nice porter, and one I'd be happy to have again. I've come to find that Fuller's tends to have a knack for making very nice beers, and this is no exception. Well worth it.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark black with an average rocky light brown head that lasted most of the brew with good lacing. Aroma was heavy roasted malt with a chocolate tone. Flavor was complex with the same roasted moderated sweet but moderate average bitter finish. Medium to full body with creamy texture.

Very good brew.

Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
94 out of 100 based on 2,230 ratings.