Fuller's London Porter - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
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Ratings: 2,070 | Reviews: 1,134 | Display Reviews Only:
4.23/5 rDev +0.7%
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...
03-26-2009 22:58:01 | More by biegaman
3.48/5 rDev -17.1%
Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best before Feb 2012 so plenty of time to crush this one!
A nice simple creamy head of two fingers that seems to have some foamy character. Bubbles in the head are uneven, but also seem to slowly subside. Body is a nice brown walnut almost getting into black but not really.
Mild chocolate and cigarette nose of tobacco for this bouquet. Something else though is kind of a sour and funky grain smell. Sort of a mish mash of real nice and an off putting blast. I actually get a small sense of summer sausage on this (meaty).
Taste is weak bodied and virtually just a wet bodied roast character of malt. Papery... thin... giving to cheap tobacco notes and wet bodied malts. Borderline cola milk stout without even the sweetness on the finish.
Wow this is one of the top English Porters? Forget it, this makes me want more Olde Engine Oil.... Pass.
07-04-2011 04:19:16 | More by smakawhat
4/5 rDev -4.8%
On draft at the Chop Shop, Brooklyn.
Poured a deep black hue with a half finger foamy off white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.
The smell featured burnt caramel, charcoal and dry coffee.
The taste consisted of a dry roasted malt with residual charcoal and coffee flavors. There was a slight constant sweetness as well.
The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style and milky in character.
Overall a full flavored and full bodied porter.
11-23-2009 17:36:17 | More by plaid75
4.25/5 rDev +1.2%
A: Poured a dark,near opaque nature (deep chestnut brown with dark plum highlights around the edges when held up to the light). A one finger frothy dark khaki colored head sits atop with moderately lasting results before leveling to a thin sudsy covering leaving only a slight thin lacing around the glass edges.
S: a dark roasted coffee bean aroma with dried cherries, dark fruit and some bitter chocolate.
T: smooth with a well polished, but deep roasted coffee bean flavor with a dried creamer sweetness sneaking through. The coffee bitterness and earthy minerality (soil) truly highlight the rich nature of this drink. Some dried grapeskins, raisins and a faint dried creamer/chalkiness is found on the finish.
M: nice providing a light-medium viscosity, oily texture while leaving a dry earthy and roasted bitterness behind. The carbonation is soft while there was slight traces of dried coffee creamer/chalkiness left behind.
D: Really good drinkability, rich and dark with a fresh roasted coffee flavor that is sure to put this on the top of your list per style.
09-23-2008 23:15:39 | More by beerthulhu
4.28/5 rDev +1.9%
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.
06-05-2005 18:20:25 | More by Viggo
4.36/5 rDev +3.8%
A - dark brownish black with a thick, brownish head that fades to a thin lacing rather quickly
S - caramel, maybe some toffee, some faint roasted malts, maybe even some faint coffee
T - roasted malts, caramel, faint toffee, burnt sugar
M - chewy, sugary, medium to full bodied, well carbonated
This is a really solid, balanced, and complex beer. There are layers of caramel interspersed with roasted malts and faint toffee-like notes. There is also some sugar present which isn't cloying, but in fact add depth and balance.
This is one of the better imports I have had in a good while. This is definitely a porter that is worth checking out.
01-26-2013 00:11:29 | More by tdm168
4.38/5 rDev +4.3%
A: Pours a thick, dark black, quite opaque. There is a slight ruby tinge around the edges when held up to the light. A one finger tan head formed and reduced to a ring of foam around the edges and a little bit in the center. Nice lacing down the sides.
S: Some roasted malt, nice milk chocolate, and hints of coffee. There are some caramel and nutty undertones as well.
T: Very nice combination of caramel and roasted malts. Hints of dark chocolate, not as much as the aroma indicates. Very nice combination of flavors. Complex, hard to pick everything out.
M: Extremely smooth, a lot lighter than I thought it would be, but with the flavor its not really a problem. Nice carbonation.
O: Really nice, extremely drinkable, goes down easy.
04-29-2011 02:06:29 | More by mdaschaf
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
Pours dark ruby with a nice thin beige head that retains nicely. One of the best smelling porters I've come across. Nutty, roasty and chocolatey. Very, very nice. Wow. What a creamy mouthfeel. This is really an outstanding porter. I've had this before but never had this type of experience. (They were probably old beers in past.) Great coffee taste and roasted tones. Vanilla bean and bittersweet chocolate make their presence known. Full body. What a treat. Great way to cap the night.
05-23-2002 23:10:08 | More by Bighuge
2.28/5 rDev -45.7%
Dark earthy pour, minimal head, little if any lace. Smell was musty, earthy, dirtish again.
Tasted like leftover meat and chocolate. No hops. Oily, alcohol too pronounced at this level. Just seems watery with very not beer flavor to it. Licorice heat. Old coffee maybe. Everything reeks of oxidation.
Too pricey ($6) for a relatively unenjoyable drinking experience. Love porters, but not this one.
08-24-2010 19:05:53 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.33/5 rDev +3.1%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier pint glass. It poured a dark brown color wit ha thick off-white foam pillow filling the top inch and a half of the glass. The head settled a bit but a frothy thin layer remained and left some nice lacing on the glass as I drank it.
The aroma has a very smooth chocolate and roasty malt characteristic to it. Very nice aroma and classic for the style.
The taste has a big milk chocolaty presence to it with some bitter and slightly burnt malts coming in towards the finish. It has a bit of a bready and nutty flavor to it as well. It has a nice balance between sweet and bitter.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly below average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some great flavors to it and the balance really helps it too. A very easy drinking, smooth and flavorful beer overall. A classic example of the style.
09-12-2010 22:39:52 | More by billab914
4.47/5 rDev +6.4%
Dark brown with deep ruby highlights. Generous light brown head disappeared rather quickly leaving a thin lace on top of the beer and on the sides of the glass. The aroma is very reminiscent of coffee, with strong roasted barley, dark malts and slight graininess. The roasted and dark malts shine through in the flavour, but are nicely balanced by bitterness. Hints of chocolate and molasses. Full bodied with a velvety smooth texture. The finish is dry and has the flavour of roasted malt grains, but without the astringency that often accompanies it. Definitely a world class porter.
06-30-2004 01:58:40 | More by DrJay
4.26/5 rDev +1.4%
11.2 oz bottle served in a snifter. Distinctive dark bottle is dated "best before" 28 August 2012.
Appearance: Sparkling clear; mahogany brown in color; multi-density tan head that fairly soon reduces to a ring and an island. Decent lacing.
Smell: nice roasted malts with toffee, and a hint of coffee and chocolate. Hints of brandy after warming.
Taste:A load of dark, choco-coffee malt here, yet no off- or burnt-notes. Mildly earthy, bitter and spicy -- partly from the Fuggles hops. Some coffee in the aftertaste with dark roasted malts, a touch of dark fruit, and dark chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Medium body; lightly crisp from start to the semi-dry finish.
O: "Rich, dark & complex", as advertised. Easy drinking (or sipping), flavorful porter that leans towards a dry UK stout.
03-31-2012 23:53:58 | More by chinchill
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
Can from the LCBO, BBD of November 17, 2011. Into a pint glass.
Pours a dark chestnut brown, with a solid 3 finger tan head. Sheets of lacing, with solid retention. Nose is equally as solid, caramel, dark and milk chocolates, light smoke (maybe some smoked meats) and some roastiness. Quite complex and mouthwatering. Starts off smooth and super silky on the palate, chocolate up front with some caramel sweetness, dark roasted coffee, a touch metallic before it warmed up a bit more. Mouthfeel was great, creamy and silky. Drinkability is awesome, an everyday porter and something that may become a staple in my fridge.
02-06-2011 22:53:10 | More by liamt07
British Columbia (Canada)
4.15/5 rDev -1.2%
A: Ruby-black, pours a nice off-white/tan head, not much retention, but great lace.
S: Dark malt, chocolate, burnt caramel, a little spice (jaggery/treacle?), with a touch of British fruity esters.
T: Bittersweet, with the bitterness comming from the chocolate malt. Caramel, licorice, treacle, molases. Slight alcoholic warmth in the finish. A little fruitiness from the British yeast. Considerable depth of flavour.
M: Moderate body, light to moderate carbonation. Chalky after-taste.
D: Quite good, but it's a little bold for a session beer.
10-25-2005 00:44:03 | More by Derek
4.45/5 rDev +6%
What a beautiful site sitting in my glass this very deep garnet colored beer with a masterful head, the texture creamy with oodles of fine clinging lace to smother the glass. Impressive toasted grains dominate the nose, caramel, light earthy sweetness that I find quite appealing. Chocolate sweet start, the top middling, the finish has delectable hop spiciness, delightfully carbonated, droughty malt aftertaste that lingers lovingly on your satisfied palate. As you can see I think a lot of Fullers beers, and with Samuel Smith, make up my top two English Breweries. Personally quite a treat for us "Dark Lovers", when the "World" is turning to the "Light", I steadfastly clutch the Darkness.
12-02-2002 06:57:32 | More by Gusler
4.1/5 rDev -2.4%
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a dark, nutty brown color with a healthy, inch thick, mocha colored head. There is a nose of coffee, a little choco-toffee, and a littly earthy-nutty. The beer has a very smooth body, with coffee flavors right off the bat, bringing a decent amount of bitter to the beer. Other flavors are sweet to balance, including a slightly dark molasses taste. The beer is surprisingly light and smooth in mouth, and it leaves a great lacing on the glass as you drink it. Very light coffee aftertaste with chocolate highlights that diminishes very quickly. Great finish, nice and smooth, and this is a very tasty beer to drink that remains light and easy to consume.
03-03-2011 22:38:38 | More by GarthDanielson
4.38/5 rDev +4.3%
Color: Dark brown with a nice frothy brown head.
Aroma: Thick and malty with a hint of coffee and caramel notes in the nose. There's even a hint of cocoa.
Taste: Very smooth and creamy with a nice mocha taste upfront. Roasted notes and caramel are also detectable. Delicious.
Mouthfeel: Roasted coffee/caramel notes. Smooth.
Drinkability: Very drinkable porter in a can. Good example of the style. Easy to drink and easier to enjoy. I like it and might buy again.
05-26-2008 16:26:36 | More by Brad007
4.3/5 rDev +2.4%
On tap at the British beer company.
It comes to the table in a proper English pint a solid dark brown color with beautiful ruby highlights when held to light. Creamy tan/brown head shows great retention and covers most of the glass on the way down. Smells heavy on the chocolate, but also has generous helpings of caramel, brown sugar, earthy, and mineral aromas. The flavor leans to the malty side with chocolate and caramel dominating the flavor. There's an earthy and mineral flavor that does nicely to cut through the malt and provide some balance. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a creamy sweet mouthfeel. This is a really nice porter with a great expression of chocolate malt. I might have to drink more of these.
07-03-2012 00:56:18 | More by johnnnniee
Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
94 out of 100 based on 2,070 ratings.