Fuller's London Porter - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter

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1,161 Reviews

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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 JohnnyDuvel
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had four great beers tonight, but I decided on this for my 100th review. Fuller's is my favorite porter, and no beer in the world tastes any better (IMO). Not overly impressive in appearance, but this beer is perfectly balanced. Wonderful chocolate notes, smooth (but with enough bitterness to balance it just right). I really can't find any fault in this beer (and it's outdated - 8/02!). Can't imagine how good a fresh one would taste! (I did end up finding a new 6, and it was even better. Great beer!). (508 characters)

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

Dark mahogany liquid pours witha creamy tan head. Very good staying power creates an attractive lacing. The aroma is coffee, raisin, chocolate and roasted malts with a hint of spice. The taste is huge on coffee, with some bitter cocoa and a touch of fruity sweetness in the middle. Very nice bittering on the finish gives way to a long, roasted coffee aftertaste that is sprinkled with cocoa. Mouthfeel is good, with a lighter body and perfect carbonation. Drinkability is also good, but the powerful flavors keep you from pounding this one. It is one to be savored and enjoyed, not guzzled. A very good beer. (609 characters)

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

Pours a bubbly dark brown with a very thick head, evaporating rather quickly, but some fine lacing throughout. Aroma is of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee beans, enough complexity to keep sniffing! Very smooth and crisp, a wonderful blend of roasted malt, chocolate, and dark roasted coffee mixed well. A creamy body, yet stays smooth throughout, a smokey and coffee beans feel left on the palate, leaves you yearning for more. Should be enjoyed by most, try one ASAP. (472 characters)

Photo of Tballz420
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, well, well. What do we have here. A damn fine drink i do believe. A nice light brown head that sticks all over the place, floating atop a nice almost-black body. Smells delicious. Yep, the taste confirms that. We got some fine mixing of chocolate, coffee and probably some caramel. Probably be better in the winter, but im trying to say this shit is good. (361 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a mahogany brown color with a thick dark-tan head, a hard pour produced a two-finger layer that slowly collapsed on itself leaving lace behind

Aroma: like rich expensive chocolate with some coffee notes, slight twinge of caramel and a bit of fruitiness, dark brown sugar

Flavor: robust dark roastiness with a subtle malt sweetness behind it, minerally overtones, a "hard" taste (does that make sense?), some bitterness, dry finish

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy, medium-bodied and lots of mineral astringency

If you're looking for a good example of a Robust Porter, this is the one you should try. It embodies the style perfectly. Many others I have tried are too close to the line between porters and stouts. This one is perfect. (752 characters)

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

Color: a somewhat clear russet brown, head: 1/2" of toasted tan. Nose is on the burnt side, very roasty and sharp, bitter, hot, with flavors of pepper and espresso.
Mouthfeel is warm, texture is smooth, hops are hard to notice. Malt stands up proudly, though, in all it's lushly roastedness.
This is quite a consumable porter, a very flavorful session ale, to say the least. Finish is sweet and nutty, and lasts just long enough.
A darn good porter. (453 characters)

Photo of elmocoso
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer looks black, but when held up to the light, the light shines through a deep black cherry. Very attractive, the head is decent and tan. There is a little clingy lace and a nice ring around the glass, like a glimps of cuff poking out the sleeve of a nice black suite.

There seems to be a deep roasted smell here, malty and a slight smell of alcohol.

The taste of burnt malt dominates this porter. kind of nutty? i dont know. A nice well-rounded tongue presence. not much hops.

This beer taste's hearty, bread in a bottle. I think i like it. (557 characters)

Photo of Dantes
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Package: 12 oz. tall, narrow brown bottle. “Best before 19/Sep/03.” No indicated ABV, although Fuller’s lists it as 5.4% in bottles.

Cost: $7.49 per 6-pack at Total Wines.

Presentation: Poured into pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Almost stout-like at first glance, one realizes that this is not opaque, but deeply translucent brown-burgundy. Formed a moderately dense, sticky, head, with a medium bead, which resolved to a very thin layer that lasted half-way through the glass. May have been affected by having been poured into a “used” glass, recently vacated by a Fuller’s London Pride.

Smell: The malts dominate here issuing aromas of burnt sugar, smoke, and toasted grain. As is typical with Fuller’s, the nose is restrained but complex, improving as it warms.

Taste: A veritable Greek Chorus of malts awaits the lucky person holding the glass. Brown, Crystal, and Chocolate malts produce a rich variety of flavors: dark fruits, wood-smoke, vanilla, dark toast, nuts, unsweetened chocolate, coffee, and the classically British diacetyl. The Fuggles issue a plaintive, but noticeable cry against the Full-Nelson applied by the malts. Has a long, lingering, creamy finish.

Mouthfeel: Very nice carbonation; noticeable but not intrusive. Allows the malts and rich body to achieve a lovely creaminess. The buttery elements coat the tongue, prolonging the beer’s lovely flavors. Smooth and silky.

Drinkability: Another great-drinking beer from Fullers. This is a medium-bodied porter that drinks like a mild ale. Don’t let its dark color scare you away. This is a wonderfully balanced brew.

Another stunner from Fullers. The orchestration of malts is deftly done, providing a wonderfully satisfying porter. An archetype of the style, which is even better on draught. I regard Fuller’s as an old friend, who always has the right encouraging words. A standard inhabitant at the top of my beer rotation along with the ESB and 1845.

Bottom Line: The perfect porter for quaffing. (2,065 characters)

Photo of optikon44
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Creamy, espresso-brown head that stays a while. Pours dark reddish/brown with lots of small carbonation bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. Earthy smell with strong coffee notes and a kind of sour malt. The scent is not too strong, but pleasant. Big creamy beer that tastes like coffee with slight hoppy overtones. Finishes with more coffee bitterness and then slightly sweet malt. Well-balanced and smooth. This is a filling porter. (440 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep, shadowy ruby with a quick-to-fade tan head. Sticks as an edging.
Smoky, roasted aroma. Not a nostril powerhouse, but pleasant.
Taste, on the otherhand, is a dynamo. Begins with a sense of burning embers of oak, fading to straight roasted malts. Burnt dark fruit is the slogan here. Plums mostly. Loads of bittersweet chocolate. Vanilla bean essence couples with a caramel sweetness. Herbal, subdued hopping. Some coffee grounds post-swallow.
A hallmark of porters. Smooth, with trace carbonation. As downable as any. (526 characters)

Photo of jreitman
3.41/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful black with that oh so beautiful nitro head. Smell was rather subdued. Overall I found the beer pretty bland. Their was a rather odd, "fruity but not in a good way" taste that I couldn't quite pin. Will have to try this one at another bar and see if it is any better. General overall impressions was not positive. (331 characters)

Photo of TheDM
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over all a very nice beer. Almost no carbonation in the bottle I pored. Very little head. It was ver dark in color to the point of being unable to see through it. It goes down very smoothly with little afterbite. The taste lingers for a while then fades. And the GF gave it a so-so rating over all. Hmm and I thought I was beginning to teach her something.

Im Himmel gibt es kein bier darum truinken vir es heir!
In Heaven there is no beer that is why we drink it here! (473 characters)

Photo of zerk
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black, with ruby highlights. Has a thin, and quickly fading tan head. Aroma is malty, with notes of coffee, chocolate and smoke. Flavor is a combination of chocolate, bitter coffee, some grassy notes, and a bit of caramel. As the beer sits for a while, the alcohol becomes a bit more pronounced. Medium to full bodied, and very smooth., this is a very drinkable porter that really hits the spot! (408 characters)

Photo of jeffboo
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle conditioned porter from a great British Brewer. this one poured a beautiful dark reddish brown with a creamy tan head.
Aromas of sweet malt,chocolate and a hint of roast coffee way in the back. It starts malty sweet, caramel? with a long finish that is roaty-toasty as it warms. It has a medium body that asks for more drinking, the texture is creamy and chewy.It's a beer that goes well with comfort food.I really liked this one- very easy to want a few pints in a sitting. (484 characters)

Photo of SamuraiJack
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a super nice porter - a really good example of the style.
First pour shows a beer that is the rich dark brown desirable of the type, but with a very very light head - sticky but almost non-existent. This is one of the only weaknesses of the beer. The other is the aroma. While it is nice (toasty caramel, espresso/chocolate and even some nice smoky malt) it is very very light.
Initial taste is crisp and yet smooth, with light carbonation and a nice medium body. Very balanced and complex flavours, mostly made up of bitter chocolate, coffee and even a very light butterscotch all built on a little tiny touch of esthers and alcohol. The hop flavour is slight, but adds the balance to the roasted malt needed to create the foundation for the complex flavours. There is almost no aftertaste, just a fading smoky taste and bitter coffee/chocolate.
A really drinkable beer - great for cold evenings. (909 characters)

Photo of johnrobe
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is cast and mold for a traditional style porter. It pours dark, rich brown with ruby highlights showing up around the edges. The head is a dense light beige, yet disappears quickly. Malt, caramel, chocolate, and coffee dominate the aroma. The taste is again, very malty; rich chocolate, coffee, and a bit of treacle come through. Unlike a lot of American interpretations, there is a definite absence of roasted barley and a decision, instead, to focus on the black, chocolate and crystal malts. A lot of domestic porters have a stout-like taste profile due to the use of roasted barley (though usually in smaller quantities than in stouts). Very good, indeed. Taste this alongside Anchor Porter (also an outstanding porter, imho) and you'll see what I mean about the roasted barley. (787 characters)

Photo of Bruiser81
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a black color but there was a very deep ruby hue towards the bottom of the glass. Their was a creamy tan head cresting at three fingers and eventually settling down to about a quarter of an inch, with good lacing. The aroma was of dark chocolate, carmel, and roasted malts. The taste was similiar to the nose. It started off with the dark chocolate and malts and finished with a creamy buttery taste. There was a strong coffee aftertaste and the mouthfeel was very smooth. This is the kind of brew I could drink all night, so delicious. This is definitely one of the best porters I've had so far. (613 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), three days in my fridge, poured 40F, reviewed 45F-60F.

It was in the back of my fridge, dammit. I waited a little but couldn't wait much. The head is foamy and cream-colored. Tons of thick lacing stick to the glass. The beer is ruby-edged black.

The aroma is roasted and nutty, with some chocolate. Toffee appears as it warms. The front is roasted grains and toffee, but not a cloying sweet toffee. Bitterness in the middle. The finish is dry. Mouthfeel is velvet. This is an excellent, dry porter that hits the spot perfectly when I'm not in the mood for the sweeter blacks. (630 characters)

Photo of Rocko
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black color with a light brownish growing head at the pour up. It leaves a nice little lacing on top which lasts for long. Big distinct smells of coffee and hints of dark chocolate. The taste is very coffee intense ended with a huge bitterness that grabs hold of your palate.

This is a very nice porter, quite expensive though but it really deserves it's position up top. :) (383 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This was a deep, deep, ruby colored beer. A huge tan head rose up that slowly diminished into a thin layer that persisted for the entire drink. A decent amount of lace was left.

Smell: The aroma of this brew was very complex. There was almost too much going on in my nose to pick out individual smells. When sniffed from the bottle, I was overwhelmed by chocolate and smoke. From the glass, I could pick out those two components, plus coffee, that good old English sweetness, toffee, butterscotch, and a little bit of hops bitterness. This was all rolled together and smelled great!

Mouthfeel: There was a nice creamy feel to this beer in the front of the mouth, but it was rough going down the throat.

Taste: The complexity of the flavor of this brew almost matched that of the aroma. To keep this short, let's just say that everything that I listed in the "Smell" catagory also came out in the flavor. It was all pretty subtle until the finish, which was a strong hops and smoke flavor.

Overall, this was a very delicious beer. It has a different flavor profile than most porters that I have had. Not a beer to pound all night long, but a beer to be cherished on certain occasions. (1,207 characters)

Photo of Kunsan90
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a very, very, dark ruby red that shows the red hues in the right light. A thick, dark, tan head formed that left behind nice lace work as it receded. It had a great smell of roasted, slightly burnt malts/grains, coffee, and chocolate. The taste was great. It was or roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of chocolate. It felt medium to full in the mouth and had a nice malty flavor and after taste. There was a very slight, and I say slight hint of hop spiciness.

This is a great porter that I will drink again and use to judge others by. (554 characters)

Photo of stegmakk
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...this will be my porter for all other porter comparison

Color was dark brown with ruby highlights...nice thick tan head stayed for a while...
Aroma was roast malt, coco powder, and burnt chocolate...taste is amazing...complex roasted malt...but more chocolate/coffee flavor...the aftertaste is the best...dry coffee flavor...mmmmm
went down smooth with a filling feeling...this is going to the top of my beer purchase rotation (436 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Porter displays one of the colors I really love in a bier: a rich, ruby brown color, with only faint glimmers of light able to penetrate through. The tan head was about 1/4" to start, yet shrank and maintained a light, fine coating atop the ruby nectar. Lacing was also present and decent. The aroma had a heavy coffee and roasty malt lean to it. Body is respectable, and it has a fairly smooth feel on the tongue. Has a very distinct roasty, chocolate, coffee malt combo, which sits nicely on the tongue and in the back of the throat. Finish is slightly dry, but not to the detriment of the bier. This is a fine bier! Cheers!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

482 (722 characters)

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

Clear mahogany amber in color with a frothy, light tan and thin head atop medium-sized bubbles. Poor retention with moderate lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation. Aroma is of "Whoppers" malt balls, milk chocolate, carob, caramel, vanilla, black walnut, butterscotch, incense, oak, dates and moist pipe tobacco. The nose is very unique and wonderful. Mouthfeel is biting from the dark grains with a light, refreshing body (Similar body to Grants Perfect Porter, though Grant's is certainly spritzier in mouthfeel). This is much drier than I would expect based upon aroma. This is a dry porter with a little residual malt sugar, and some astringent roasted malts with a semisweet, very English, mild bittering hop finish. Has a bright coffee-like acidity. Alcohol is noticeable, but is very clean and not unpleasant. No perceptible off flavors or aromas.

This is a nicely balanced version of the English porter, and is certainly very drinkable, but I wish it had a smoother mouthfeel and a touch more body and malt sweetness. Some maltodextrin and lactose would really make this an amazing beer. As it stands, this is very good. (1,128 characters)

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

Very dark ruby pour, medium tan, creamy head, slowly diminishing to leave good lacing. Aroma is strong, with dark choocolate, roasted cofee, and caramel taking the lead. Flavor follows, with the coffee taking the initial lead, followed by hints of caramel, and finishing with a long lasting dark chocolate taste. Very solid mouthfeel, light carbonation on the tongue, and that long lasting flavor keeps you remembering what you just drank for a while afterwards. (462 characters)

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