Fuller's London Porter - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,232 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,232
Reviews: 1,144
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.48%
Wants: 174
Gots: 162 | 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: 2,232 | Reviews: 1,144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of far333
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Although porters are among my favorite styles, I've never tried this grandaddy of them all. So how do I know I really like the style until I've sampled the standard against which all others are measured?

Pours dark and frothy, but not thick and not dark as night. It's a chestnut colored liquid with ruddy highlights around the edges of the glass. A dark beige grainy and evenly bubbled head rises up an inch high and remains for a long time, only slowly settling down to a quarter inch cap, and never disappearing.

Aroma is roasted malt, molasses, and cocoa as expected, but there are also other notes coming through that are lighter and brighter like sweet fruits and candy, and a very noticeable hop presence.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, yet viscous and easy-flowing, leading to a rich complex flavor upfront, dominated early by charred smokey bark, followed by burnt chocolate, bitter espresso and molasses. This turns quickly to tart cherry followed by a hop bitter, all with a sweet cocoa undertone. So many flavors happening in the course of a single sip. Sticky strings of lace create a web around the inside of the glass.

I can see why this is the top BA choice for porters, and it is definitely a favorite style.

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

At last - the elusive London Porter is mine! 500 ml bottle, bought in Denmark. Very dark reddish brown colour, large tan head. Aroma is first and foremost dark chocolate, but also rye bread, leather and oak. Flavour is again chocolate on a nice roasty background, decent hops linger in the aftertaste. Clearly a first class beer - I’m sure it’s even better cask conditioned.

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

The only dissapointing aspect of this particular Ale was the head. Other than that it was spectacular. The smell was very complex with chocolate, roasted coffee along with slight sweetness of berry. The flavor was right in line with the smell and the mouthfeel was an appropriate carbonation. I could drink far too many of these in one sitting. Yikes. Better keep me away from Jack Quinn's.

Photo of erica
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a case of this, because I had a coupon for a $10 rebate, so, when I receive my $10 in the mail like 80 years from now, It's the same price as Smuttynose IPA, which was the other beer I was thinking of getting. It's freakin hot here, end of July, and here I am sitting in a non-air conditioned 2nd floor room, drinking a sticky Porter. What's wrong with me, you may ask? Nothing, I just had enough of IPAs for a while.

So. The appearance of our Lovely London Porter is nice enough, nothing to rave about; a dark brown that looks reddish when held up to the light, not a thick black like you might imagine. About an inch of a creamy, light tan head that settles into a ring around the glass with a few straggling micro-bubbles. The kind where you can play 'what shape is that?' like with clouds. Right now it looks like there's either a fat hockey stick about to hit a puck or ball, or a booted lower leg that just kicked a snail. A bit of lacing as well.

Smells... a bit too sweet for my tastes. Very syrupy, molasses, maple, even like a super-sweet chocolate fudge. Not bad but I'm not drinking this one with my nose stuck in the glass the whole time. Tastes better than it smells- sweet coffee candy in the very beginning, almost like a coffee flavoring, maybe even a syrup over pancakes, followed by chocolate, dark chocolate brownies I'd say, then more roasted coffee, like maybe the brownies were frosted with a coffee or espresso, just slightly sweetened frosting. And just the faintest hint of a bitterness in the finish, and a very slighty larger hint of alcohol. That may be my imagination though, since it's apparently only 5.4%. The prominent flavor in this one is Roasty. Yes, I am using Roasty as a noun rather than the conventional use as an adjective. I should've thought of that earlier and used it in previous reviews. Next time.. hahaha.

Ahem.. Yes, moving on, mouthfeel is good, it's got a light carbonation that cuts through the sweet/syrupy taste so that it doesn't become like actual syrup. A nice refreshing tingle on the tongue, and not too thin either. Just right. Drinkability, well I'd say it's quite good, even on this hot hot night, though I would say it'd be better suited for a winter evening or something like that. Anyway, it is easy drinking, smooth and never boring. Something I do not regret buying a whole case of, which is a good thing, considering that is the most likely way I'd be able to get this one around my area. A good one!

Photo of carln26
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured a dark brown almost black with a thick tan head. The head receded quickly and there was no lace. Light aroma with roast malt a bit of chocolate and hard candy. The flavor has roast malt coffee sweet candy and a mild smoke finish. Smooth slick mouth feel. Decent drinkability. This was the most “stout-like” porter I’ve ever had (I’m not a huge stout fan), yet, I found this to be uninspiring.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with slight ruby highlights and a thick tan head. Incredible aroma of chocolate, roasted coffee, spicy fuggles hops and toffee. Taste is complex melding of roaste and sweet flavors, roasted and bitter coffee beans and sweet chocolate and blackstrap molasses. Also hints of burnt toffee and that signature english fuggles hops flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy with a medium body and light carbonation. The drinkability is quite good, an excellent porter.

Photo of Naes
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Its appearance is black with a large tan head that laces good.

Aroma is of chocolate and malty goodness.

The flavor is roasty, with huge accents of coffee and chocolate. The hops make a slight appearance in the end.

The mouth feel is a bit light for such a porter. Although it is incredibly smooth and leaves a small film over the tongue. I will definitely have another some time.

Worth trying.

Photo of jayc333
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with a two finger head. The head, (like most English beers) ended up turning quite minimal. Very good lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel, chocolate, and coffee. The smell was by-far the most satisfying and my personal favourite aspect of the beer.

Taste was somewhat disapointing. Don't get me wrong, it was still very nice, and i really enjoyed it, but I was just expecting so much more because of its sweet aroma. The coffee flavour simply overpowers everything.

I'm on the same boat with mouthfeel as I was with taste. Just a little disapointing. The main factor again is that there was just way too much of the coffee flavour.

Overall, not bad. I don't think that I will be buying this again, but that shouldn't stop you.

Photo of mynie
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, very black. This is beyond opaque. Champagne lines here and there--lines of bubbles shooting intently upward like ants into a flame.

Very deep and intense odor of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. Nothing original here, but everything good. If I were to rubber stamp a Good Porter Smell, this would be the template. Excellent.

Smoke and roasted malt upfront, alcohol and chocolate in the middle, coffee and more roasted malt in the back. Leaves a nice, dry aftertaste.

Very full body. Very full flavor. Goes down quite smooth. One hell of a beer.

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

Served from the bottle: best before 11-05-05. Pours a deep brown with crimson highlights. Foam quickly subsides to a very thin cap.

Smell: sweet caramel, chocolate, and a hint of coffee bean.

Taste is quite satisfying. This brew has a medium body with a chewy base that coats the palate nicely. Chocolate notes are evident as is a slight tinge of coffee. Hops warm up the middle but soon vanish as the brew takes on a smooth smoky-chocolate finish. A solid porter no doubt.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before Valentine's 2005, so this isn't the freshest of samples.
Smokey, almost meaty. Smoked meat... maybe beef jerky. Smokey, meaty jerky is what the taste brings to mind.
Reminds me of many stouts I've had in the overall experience; I might think this a stout if not told ahead of time what this is.
Sweet, roasted malts, some hops to dry things out.
Solid stuff... perhaps better when fresher...
I intend to find out.

Photo of bashiba
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark brown with slight ruby highlights, just a touch of head that was gone in a minute.

Smelled heavily of roasted malts and slight coffee.

Taste is good with a nice heavy roasted malt flavor with a bitter coffee taste and a great earthy bitterness to it. Very Malty without being at all sweet, very nice.

Mouthfeel is great, an almost perfect blend of creaminess with a very nice dry finish.

Drinkabality is great on this porter!

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This porter pours out a dark brown, mahogany color with some red tint. There is a nice 1/2" creamy tan head that settles to a ring and left little lacing.
The aroma of Fuller's London Porter is earthy, roasted malt with kind of an iced coffee smell. Smells perfect to me!
The taste is out of this world and is something for any brewery making a porter to try and attain. Along with the roasted, burnt flavor, a little chocolate comes across before the coffee flavor hits. Wonderful long finish. Very balanced flavor, and always consistent.
The beer is smooth, creamy and rich in the mouth with just a little carbonation.
This is a highly drinkable porter which always has and always will stay in my regular rotation of beers. Highly recommended to any beer lover.

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

Pours a rich dark red/brown, big creamy head and leaves some generous lace. Smell is rich coffee roast, bitter chocolate, very tasty. Taste is really full deep chocolate up front, with a bitter coffee finish. My only complaint with this beer is that the mouthfeel is a little thin for the porters I like, but its still smooth and satisfying.

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

Pours a dark rich brown, has a malty chocolate smell something that you could just sniff all day. I let this one warm up a bit which did wonders for the smell and taste on the tongue. Once it hit the palate it tasted of rich dark coffee, chocolate, and slight tabacco...a beer that would pair very well with english candies such as (Picnic, Twirl, or Flake)

Photo of 3Vandoo
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep dark brownish beer with tints of ruby in it, a nice beige head appeared who was greatly generous then slowly let herself go away.

smell of malt, roasted coffee with a light smell of shy hops in the background.

Her taste is magnificient sorry but im falling in love with this beer, either it is the bottle of wine(yup I did drink wine, yes yes I will burn in beer hell for eternity). First thing you notice when you open your mouth to enjoy this beer is the aromas of roasted coffee, then caramel, some maltish flavours are present but everything is end up with a roasted coffee taste and a finish of butterscotch. Some notes of dark chocolate are also present but a bit too shy to my desire!

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

Poured from a slender 11.2 oz. longneck bottle - best before Mar.1 '06. Color is dark mahogany nearly black hue with dark ruby highlights. Bright cream colored head that descends to an 1/8th inch with spotty globs.

Powerful and fresh scents of fudge brownies, roasted walnuts, malted milk balls and dark fruits. Another swirl awakens the fruit component even more...figs, (chocolate covered) cherries and concord grapes.

Flavors of well balanced roasted malts intertwined with calm fruity elements. The flavors come-off very subtle compared to the previous onslaught of glorious scents (above). A soft tobacco and leather flavor lingers in the background of the finish.

Mouthfeel is very soft and silky. Carbonation is present but very tame. Medium body with a modest oily feel. Creamy smooth finish.

Drinkability is high - very quaffable. Enough flavor & body to satisfy without any heaviness to bloat.

Overall an outstanding porter. I believe the reason I love this so much is that it's not trying to encroach into 'stout' territory. It seems the porters today are harder to discern from a stout. Very elegant and stylistic, but still an ale for the common man/woman. A porter of utmost class and distinction.

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

Pours a translucent brown/black with ruby hints and a tall dense head.

It has a formidable layered aroma. Roasted malt comes on first. Floral hops come on next, then prunes, the dark caramel, then a touch of cellar-like aromas. Coffee and chocolate are always present, though. Man...I just love smelling this beer!

Flavor is full of coffee and chocolate, backed by the fruit, nuts and caramel. Bitterness is at a perfect level. The finish is long and satisfying. My only nit is that the mouthfeel could be a touch more full.

You just can't ask for much more from a porter. A real classic!

Bottle dated 25/JUN/05

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

12oz dark brown bottle. Freshness date on back label.
Pours a roofing tar/brown-tinged black with a tan fast-fading head.
The aroma of fresh-brewed coffee billows out. Smells of toasted brown bread and dark roasted malt are lasting.
Flavors of deep roasted barley malt, rich coffee and dark chocolate flow together in the full creamy body.
The ample hop bitterness has a tea-like, and light citrus bitterness.
A nice, easy to drink Porter, that tastes more potent than it's listed 5.4%abv. Decadent!

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

Fuller's London Porter pours a lovely dark amber with a tan head and lacing that snaps, crackles and pops. Chocolate and toffee aromas dominate and foreshadow its flavor. At first, the carbonation dances inside your mouth, that gives way to a chewy, yet smooth texture. This porter is roasted, toasty, chocolatey goodness that's more than quaffable. Spot on.

Photo of Vancer
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yeah, baby! From the great deep, clear, mahogany brown pour with tan head that laced, to the intense chocolate malt aroma, this one’s a winner. Sips tasted malty with powdery burnt toast/charcoal, and finished hoppy. Rich, full bodied – thinning as it warms. Defiantly a smooth porter to quaff and judge others.

Photo of tjthresh
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best Before 29/AUG/05
Served in a Nonik

Poured with a thick frothy tan head, but faded to just some whisping. Dark brown with ruby highlights. Pretty light carbonation. Dark chocolate, mild roasted coffee, maybe some prunish notes in the nose. No hops. I get the chocolate and coffee flavor also, but in the end it has this undesireable something that I find in most Fullers brews. Its pretty think in the mouth, and the finish stick with you for a bit.

Not a bad beer, but I won’t search it out again. Wouldn’t turn it away either.

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

pours a very dark brown with hiints of burgundy when the light is right or the glass half full (empty?)
head is tight and dense, the colour of hagen-daas vanilla ice cream, not bad lacing
aroma is of rich chocolate and coffee-like, a slight sweetness, english hops
wow, tastes of roasted malt, dark dark chocolate (the good stuff), cocoa, sweet black coffee, finishes with a bite and a nice rounding out
mouth feel is is like a foi gras sandwich to begin with, but thins out a bit at the end.
great beer, sorry i hadn't had it until now. probably better with food. on it's on a 500ml bottle is a bit much at once. something to keep the palate clean would allow the flavour to stay fresh. by the end of the bottle it's a bit sour.

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

Thanks to Robbeer for bringing this to Japan.

Pure black body with tight, light colored head.
Light aroma of malt and tobacco.
Was this beer brewed at a cigar rolling facility? Rich coffee, dark toffee, spicyness, lite pepper. Mild bitterness and little to no sweetness.
Nice smooth MF, medium body, silky.
This was a great little treat, nice and complex.

Photo of dgallina
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent dark mahogany with slight head, but a solid layer of foam and light lace. Smells of deeply roasted coffee and caramel malts with a touch of fruity bitterness. Flavors start with sweet caramel malts and build into quite strong toasted coffee. Becomes fruity and slightly bitter in the finish with a very good lingering powdered chocolate after-taste. Smooth and lightly carbonated in the mouth, though perhaps slightly thin in body.

A really enjoyable porter with absolutely superlative flavor!

Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
94 out of 100 based on 2,232 ratings.