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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

2,099 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,099
Reviews: 1,137
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 157
Gots: 113 | 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
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Ratings: 2,099 | Reviews: 1,137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of burnstar
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown with a medium light tan head. Aroma is dark roasted malt with coffee notes and some floral hops. Nice malty taste. Notes of dark chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Nice background sweetness. A few herbal hops. Just a bit of bitterness from the dark malt. Quite balanced, nuanced, and delicious. Mouthfeel is medium and just about right for this beer. Very drinkable and a great porter overall.

burnstar, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of biggmike
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very, very, dark brown attractive pour with off-white head that lingered for a while. Aroma is of coffee. Taste is also of coffee, but this beer is not too bitter. Nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is nice as carbonation level is just just right. A nice sessionable porter.

biggmike, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a couple fingers of quickly fading head. Smells very roasty, some chocolate and a hint of coffee grounds. Tastes of sweet roast, a little coffee grounds show as it warms along bakers chocolate and a minor bite in the finish. Light in the mouth with good carbonation. Easy going session beer with a little oomph.

franksnbeans, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of champ103
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black-Brown-Redish color with a one finger tan head that fades to almost nothing. Light lace is left as the foam recedes
S: A wonderful aroma of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and toffee. Very complex.
T: Similar to the smell. Roasted malt. Coffee, chocolate, and a ton of toffee flavors. The toffee flavor seems to coat the mouth. Though it never becomes cloying. A great malt character and a slit taste of hops.
M/D: A medium to full body. At first a snap of carbonation, but it becomes very creamy as the beer warms. Very smooth and easy to drink. This is more than a winter warmer, and can be enjoyed during all season's.

Not much more to say. This is a great beer, and like the ESB this is the standard for the style IMO. Highly recommended.

champ103, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of Jmamay22
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great reviews spurred me to buy a bottle of this. Hopefully it lives up to my high expectations as Fuller's typically puts out quality beers.

The 11.2 oz. bottle pours a dark brown similar in color to a Coke with a tan brown creamy head. The finger high head leaves nice sticky lacing down the walls of my glass.

Smells of toffee and chocolate with a bittering hop background that balances things out nicely.

Tastes of coffee, caramel and chocolate. Finishes with a hop flavoring that slowly develops from the malty tones rather than jumping out and biting your taste buds and imparts a roasted aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, creamy and enjoyable. I could drink this porter all night long, although it may not be the perfect session ale.

A quintessential porter. Every other porter dreams of growing up to be like this.

Jmamay22, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed a bottle of this at Market Cross Pub and Brewery in Carlisle, PA. Served cool poured into a half pint.
A - Deep coffee brown w/ a caramel highlight and 1/4 inch of light tan head. A minute amount of lace is observed.

S - Rich toffee and caramel w/ subtle coffee and chocolate notes w/ subtle fruit esters.

M - Medium w/ a sweet caramel edge. Mild carbonation and roasted notes.

T - A smooth ale yeast taste at the start w/ subtle sweet caramel and toffee flavors. The coffee-like roasted barley and dark malt flavor joins and stays for the duration. Slight vinous tastes w/ a hint of vanilla bounce in and out w/ a slight burned toast taste. Nuts and light brown sugar w/ a touch of chocolate rounds out the excellent flavor.

D - A great Porter - Rich, yet easy to drink many more than 2 at a time. This ale is a fine blend of malty flavors w/ subtle roast and char notes. Excellent tasting porter from the 1st sip to the last.

Slatetank, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of etenbus
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best beers on the planet and considered the top porter on the market. I first had this beer at Little Jack Horner's pub on Tottenham Court Road in central London, a Fuller's pub. On tap the beer is unparalleled. This was the bottle version I picked up at Gomer's in Kansas City.

It pours blackish-brown, until you hold it up to the light when a reddish hue comes through. A small tan head formed but faded quickly.

The aroma is complex and a real treat. I detect coffee, toffee, caramel, leather, and perhaps a little citrus and even that unique Bass-type wet horseblanket aroma that lays on the best British ales.

The taste is exceptional. There is sweetness up front, but not cloying at all. And it fades when the hops shine through. There is a heady mix of sweet candy, espresso, a hint of orange, and just a trace of smoke lingering at the end. This is not a sweet porter at all, as the hops equalize the sweet wort effectively. There is almost a bit of that sour Guinness flavor in there too, which adds great depth.

Mouthfeel is a little thicker on the draft version. The bottle version seemed a little thinner but still adequate for a porter.

This is a very drinkable ale. I've had porters that are heavy on the sweet side, which goes against type, or are too bitter. Well, this one's just right. I'll have another.

etenbus, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one confused me a little initially, but after I got used to it, turned out to be quite tasty. Poured a solid deep mahogany color with a finger of off-white head that dissolves a little quick for me. Solid lacing. Nose is pure, almost sweet roasted malt - roasted molasses maybe. Some light prunes, even pomegranate. Flavor is interesting. First off is actually tons of toasted malt. Some orange. Coffee. Not nearly as fruity and sweet as the aromas would suggest. A taste reminiscent of cigarettes as well, which I'm not loving. Light nuts and a hint of chocolate. Body is fairly full, with solid carbonation. I was totally turned off by that initial cigarette-y flavor (I have no idea what it could be), but it faded as I drank, and by the end I was quite enjoying this one.

soupyman10, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of oakbluff
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Fisherman34. Pours out a cola redish hue, with surprising clarity. Excellent head retention, followed by a nice string of lacing. Nose is of a mild mocha coffee. Taste is medium roast and nuts. Slightly bitter finish from the roasted barley and some herbal hops. Not at all sweet and has a nice body to it. Great example of a sessionable porter.

oakbluff, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of riversider76
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown,with a ruby red highlight in the light. Aroma is of roasted malts,and dark chocolate. Body is on the thin side,with a bit of carbionation. Taste is of bitter dark chocolate,and carmel,with a hint of butterscotch in the finish. Good,but not out standing in my opinion.

riversider76, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of cichief
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille and Cantina, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours nice ad dark, nearly black with a thinnish tan head.

S- Smells of roasted barley and coffee, little hops in the nose.

T- Tastes of coffee and chocolate with a dryish finish, not too syrupy like many American porters.

M- Smooth, medium to thick in body, well carbonated.

D- Very drinkable, even in warm weather, a great example of the style. Fullers seldom disappoints, and this is one of their better beers.

cichief, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this many times in the past so really looked forward to finally reviewing it. Poured a dark although not completely opaque liquid with a light mocha-tan head that was a finger thick and had staying power. Good lacing. An understated aroma of figs gave way to the smell of a freshly opened box of dark chocolates, very subtle, not overpowering. Very good taste and mouthfeel with a smooth texture, well balanced bitterness and chicory overtones. The pleasant finish leaves you wanting more. I found this, as I have in the past, a clean and not overly complicated porter that always satisfies.

ThatWineGuy, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of skineg
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark mahogany, with only a slight (1/8) head that dissipates but leaves a nice ring.

S: Subtle aroma of caramel, chocolate and nuts. Definately a little bit of a smokey smell with a hint of rye bread. Sexy is an understatement. While the smell is complex, it isn't that strong.

T: This is what the gods drink. Strong, yet clean taste of caramel, nuts and chocolate. Very complex taste. Aftertaste fades quick but still reminds you that you're drinking a beer.

M: Beer tastes almost chewy, but very smooth. Fizzes a bit on the tongue, but taste just soaks in.

D: A bit filling, but a beer everyone should have at least once. I could have a couple of these on taste alone.

Comments: One heck of a beer. Would be great with a Turkey on rye or a baked potato. Having a few Riesens wouldn't be bad either. It's one of those beers you have to say "wow" out loud after the first taste.

skineg, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now this one actually intriques me, I have been hunting it down for a while and really wanted to try it for some reason. You would think this would have been available more locally to me, but I just could never find it anywhere. It just was never around. Now I finally manahed to get ahold of one in a trade, so we will see where this one takes me. I am expecting something fairly good here….

A – Poured a very thick, almost black opaque liquid with a amall tannish head. This quickly faded and was replaced by just a thin line of off whitish lace around the rim of liquid. Good side glass lace.

S – Highly roasted malts, almost overpowering. Lots of hints of coffee, chocolate, and nuts. Very robust smell. Everything was very easily picked up and noticed. It had a real thick aroma to it. Totally roasted nuts and caramel. Really one of the better smelling brews I have ever had.

T – Wow, holy london porter. Rich caramel tones mixed in with a delicous roasted maltiness that just would not quite. Hints of dark chocolate in the back gave way to a delicous dry hoppy finish, A really complex beer here. Too many flavors to even try to list, I realy loved this and it definatly lived up to my expectations!

M – Super super smooth. It had a very light feel despite the robust flavor and aroma. I almost thopught it would be somehat creamy of syrupy, but was as light as an ale. Great carbonation really let the flavors pop as it went down. Totally a smooth session porter, really creamy carbonation, great silky like feel.

D – Really great. I literally threw this one down in about 20 mins, which for me is pretty good. I could have easily made this one an all night drinker, it was just that smooth and delicous.

Overall, This was great. I really enjoyed the roasted flavor and the full on malt assault. This could have been one of my more favorite brews to date. Really a top noth offering and I would be thrilled to get some more!

mikesgroove, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice big black that is pretty much impenetrable, although just at the right angle light shines through and reveals a hellish dark red glow. Thin head of light toasty brown diminishes to a mere ring quickly.

Big nose of roasty chocolate notes and coffee beans, with a sweet fruity element giving it some roundness. Fruity aroma tends to take over as soon as the head dies.

Pleasant smokiness in the flavor helps bring out rich chocolate and coffee aspects, again with darker fruits giving it sweetness and a pervading nuttiness adding depth. Finish is wonderful, with a coffee bean bitterness riding out quite a long while. The mouth feels creamy and full, with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is my second Fuller's, the other being the equally good ESB. More exploration of this great brewery is in order.

Metalmonk, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of ncvbc
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional porter. Had from the bottle and was glad to see this on-tap this evening. Medium creamy head that left great lacing and also lasted near the duration of the beer. Smell of light roasted coffee and chocolate malts. Taste was much of the same. Very clean and refreshing mix of chocolate and coffee balanced by a faint hop bite. Mouthfeel was rich and smooth. Very easy going down and unlike any other I've tried. Easy drinkability. Session is one word to describe the phenomenon. I like.

ncvbc, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of irishkyle21
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick light toast colour head that has great retention and lacing as well. A deep dark brown colour that is reddish at the bottom of the glass.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and what I find to be almonds.

The taste is rather similar to the nose. Dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and the hops round up everything neatly. I will certainly make room in my fridge for this one.

irishkyle21, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of jmalex
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perhaps the beer that turned me onto porters in the first place. Ironic it was an English one when now I buy pretty much all American porters. That wasn't going to stop me from grabbing a six pack of the original.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my new Sam Adams glass a deep brown that is only the slightest bit translucent when held to light. With illumination, ruddy red highlights are apparent. The head is small and lowers to just a small bubbly patch - no doubt aided by the etchings at the bottom of the glass. As I drink further, no sign of a head can be seen.

SMELL: Roasty, ROASTY! Big and heavy on coffee aromas. Bitter black malts come through as does a soft chocolatiness. And if you try real hard, the faintest bit of diacetyl comes through.

TASTE: Starts just a tad empty but the roasty flavors kick in fast. It's a bit bitter as it crosses the palate, and the finish is where most of the flavor lies. Just a bit buttery with another huge kick of roasted and black grains. Not too complex but incredibly executed.

MOUTHFEEL: Now this is what I'm talking about! A medium full body with just the faintest hint of chewiness. Carbonation level is medium and perfect for accentuating the flavors.

DRINKABILITY: An amazing drinker that is sessionable to boot. Give me more!

This is the beer that makes me reconsider my preference for the more hoppy American style porters. I love them both, but Fuller's is downright near perfect.

jmalex, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of Rudgers73
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours exactly as a porter should. Deep brown with a thick tan head that settles very slowly. Heavy caramel/molasses aroma with a hint of bittering hops in the front. The taste is very well balanced. Thick and creamy with dark roasted malts, molasses, nutty chocolate, and mildly bitter ending. Not too strong (alcohol-wise) keeping the taste mild for such a heavy beer. One of the most drinkable porters I've ever had simply because of the mouthfeel and rich character. Very close in competition with Sam Smith.

Rudgers73, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with a somewhat small head and okay lacing. Looks like a porter should. The smell is of lightly toasted grain and some dry caramel malt. The taste is similar. Rounded, with dry malt characteristics, licorice, and slightly nutty. A semi sweet chocolate aftertaste. The mouthfeel is dry and somewhat creamy. Very drinkable, and an excellent example of the style.

Georgiabeer, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of bboven
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black/brown with tinges of ruby and copper at the edges. Dirty blonde thin head. No lacing.

Smell is roasty and a bit sour/bitter. Light chocolate.

Taste is very roasty with some additional smoke, as if this barrel traded secrets with a batch of neighboring rauchbier in the same cellar.

Mouthfeel is sublimely thick and coating. Seems to be a hair too much carbonation, but I suppose that could be remedied by letting the beer breathe for a bit.

Very drinkable. Tasty and full of body, the low to middle level of alcohol makes me think I could drink three or four of these while reading a book or hanging out on BA without too much consequence.

bboven, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of alphawolf
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this fella on tap at Dressel's in St. Louis.

A- Dark and lovely. Lacking head has the only criticism I had.

S- Roasty, like a porter should be. Smell was representative of the taste I was about to experience.

T- Excellent. I'm not very good at picking out specific tastes (like vanilla, etc), so I can't say any of that -- just that this was one of the best porters I have ever had. Delicious!

M- I tend to drink a lot of double-IPA's, so this actually seemed to have moderate body in comparison to what I'm used to. However, it was sufficiently "there", with moderate carbonation.

D- I could drink this all day, which I think is notable in a dark beer. Had a certain refreshing quality which was reminiscent of a summer barbeque.

Overall, right tasty brew. Will definitely be looking for more of this!

alphawolf, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of Absumaster
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pitch black beer with a thinoff-white head and very little visible carbonation.

Smell is mildly burned with coffee notes and molasses. The is a pale malty backbone, which backs up this roastiness. Then there is also a smell of dark, unsweetend chocolate.

Taste is maltbitter, but mild, with coffee, chocolate and cacoa. Hops give the beer an earthy bitter and hoppiness, which is also a bit resinous. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. This all sounds like another porter, but the amazing balance between the burned taste and malt and hops, make this beer stand out. Also the way the burned taste develops when emptying the glass is a sign of a lot of craftmanship.

Absumaster, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours dark brown with a tan head, nice lacing, a great looking pint.

S: Smooth milk chocolate, with English hops.

T: Chocolate malts, roasted malts quite a bit, mocha coffee, capuccino, with a bit of vanilla.

M: Smooth, creamy, great heft for a porter.

D: Excellent, I think that this is Fuller's best beer. It stands well and above the Sierra Nevada Porter I just had.

Halcyondays, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of saintwarrick
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can't believe this is my first try of this classic brew. This beer pours a dark ruby brown with a lacy malt chocolate head. Aroma is heavy roasted coffee with some chocolate hints and malt hints. Taste is nice, a little thin, but nice coffee and dark cocoa with some bitterness as the backbone. This beer goes down extra smooth and makes an easy session beer.

saintwarrick, Jul 20, 2007
Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
94 out of 100 based on 2,099 ratings.