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Past Masters Double Stout - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Past Masters Double StoutPast Masters Double Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

43 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 43
Hads: 56
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 8.61%
Wants: 15
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rarbring on 06-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 56
Photo of dcmchew
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best before 19 April 2014, so i guess it's been siting for quite a while.
Pitch black even up into the light, one finger tan head, going fast to a nice sticky lace and small foamy "isles".
Smell of rich roasted malts with a hint of smoke, cooking chocolate, black olives, soy sauce, sweet Americano coffee, licorice, dry figs and raisins, a pinch of sourness and booze.
Taste is great from start to finish, and goes on something like this: booze-drenched juicy raisins, figs and plums, dry dates, licorice, milky chocolate, burnt brown sugar, strong espresso, getting dustier alongside some cinnamon. As the fruitiness fades, malts bring up rich roasted grains and a bit of smoke, going perfect with the ground coffee bean finish and the warm alcohol. Mild bitterness with no apparent hop presence.
Smooth body, low carbonation, oily. The dark fruit juiciness refreshes it all up a bit. Alcohol isn't entirely hidden, but enriches the rich malty aromas.
Really great, maybe smoother from a little aging, probably not many more bottles left out there, so grab it if you're looking for tasty strong stout.

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Photo of bark
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is pitch black (80 EBC), the two finger beige compact head sinks down leaving no lacing on the glass.

The smell is rich and creamy. Lots of salt liquorice, fruity-flowery bitterness, dark chocolate, smoked ham and black currants. Hints of band aids and Marmite. The smoked notes gets stronger as the beer gets into room temperature.

The taste is smooth, although the bitter notes are quite prominent this beer is all about the salty-smoked malt flavours. The smoke is more like... burned rubber or paint rather than Bamberg-style delicatessen. Hints of black currants and dried berries, some alcohol. Medium body. The aftertaste got salty flavours of liquorice and barbequed bacon. Dry notes of blackberries and a touch of lime peels. The long finish got notes of charcoal, green plants and black currants.

The carbonation is mild; the many small bubbles fresh. The liquid is semi-smooth.

A complex brew – a bit dry at start and sweet in the finish. The smoked flavours of the Plumage Archer barley creates a beer unlike any other I have had.

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Photo of wl0307
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased from Fuller’s online shop; BB 19/04/2014, served cool in a tulip-shaped sniffer. Note: The beer label describes this beer brewed according to a recipe back on 4th August 1893, ‘a time when “stout” meant “strong”’.

A: pours a super dark brown colour, coming with constant streams of fine carbonation and a slowly retreating frothy tan head.
S: typical of a potent, high-octave Stout, the oily rich treacle and bittersweet chocolates with a hint of banana oil or tar are firmly supported by syrupy dates, sweetened roast walnuts, vanilla beans, sweet smoky woodiness, and ripe citric fruitiness from Goldings-like hops. Overall, the sweetness is well-balanced by a sound acidity, while the smell is dense, pleasantly roast-malty, and fruity all at the same time.
T: medium-bodied sweet nuttiness and sweet coffee flavours come upfront, coupled with a hint of chocolates, oily rich dates, then the palate is overwhelmed by a wave of chewy, herbal-tannic and pleasantly dried-rind spicy hoppy aftertaste that is simultaneously roasty bitter as of from black malts or roasted barley. Aromatically charred-woody, burned-nutty and leather-ish in the finish, with a wee touch of warming alc. creeping down the throat.
M&D: the mouthfeel is just superb – the fine carbonation supports a mellow, smooth palate rendered by the complex yet well-structured flavour profile, beautifully balanced b/w sweetness, bitterness and acidity on top of a full body; this potent, ‘stout’ Double Stout is reminiscent of one’s so-called “Foreign/Export Stout” or “Russian Imperial Stout” (is there any academically-defined difference b/w the two???), that it is rich, complex, worth slowly sipping almost like a liquor and yet ever so… quaffable due to the sound hop profile. I personally think it shall be a fun task of the season to do a comparison b/w this ale and Fuller’s London Porter, why not (it’s scribbled down in my beer diary now!)??

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jet black with chocolate highlights and a creamy violet-tinged sepia head that fades fast, leaving not a speck of lace.
Treacle, smoke, prune and steak on the nose.
Dark chocolate and a hit of sweet brown sugar before heavy black licorice with hints of espresso bean and Concord grape then woody hops.
Sarsaparilla and incense finish and roasty linger.
Medium, chewy, oily, round.

1893 recipe, apparently.

18 months in the bottle has killed the hops (EKG late and dry) leaving lots of black malt and lots of chew. I'm not crazy about licorice, though, so this is a bit of a hard sell for me. I do respect the history; this has some depth and is a departure from every other stout today.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark red/black colour, with a tan head.

Smells faint, malts mostly.

Tastes of very rich malts - slight sweetness, burnt malt, rich and dark fruit, dark yet sweet chocolate, with some fruity bitter hops balancing everything out in the background. Nice full mouthfeel.

Overall a very decent beer, worth getting if you can.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from peensteen I believe. Served in a Russian River tulip. Best before April 19th, 2014.

A - A half-finger of light tan foam settles to wisps, a collar, and a few specks of lace. Very dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the fringes of the glass.

S - Fruity and estery ale yeast, with biscuit and malted milk chocolate sweetness, as well as an unexpected smokey and slightly meaty flavor. There's a hint of molasses in there as well. Really interesting and unusually complex.

T - The taste has a bit more of the smokey and umami flavors, with the sweetness from the chocolate, biscuit, and caramel malt flavors showing up late and lingering through the finish. I'm reminded of some of De Molen's malt bills, which is unsurprising considering Menno bases his stouts on traditional English ones (before barrel-aging the crap out of them).

M - Smooth medium body, with somewhat higher carbonation than you'd expect from an English ale. Dry and toasty finish, with no apparent alcohol.

D - A very well-crafted and easy-drinking English stout. It's a bit more meaty than I tend to prefer personally, but it was enjoyable for a few pours. I'd probably have a hard time putting down 500ml on my own, but three of us had no troubles. Hopefully Fuller's revisits this one a bit sooner this time, as 118 years is an awfully long time.

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Photo of crnipeter
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seemingly opaque nearly black body with ruby hue when held to the light gets topped by low yet distinctive tan head creating firm lacing on the sides. The head dissipates completely, though.

Nose delivers chocolate with milky sweetness, coffee and lightly burnt aromas of roasted malts, molasses, bready qualities, dark fruit esters, hints of soy sauce and perhaps some vinous notes. Utterly complex aroma comprises all key-elements of a great Stout, resembling a scaled down Imperial Stout.

Taste is dryer than the nose suggests with dark fruits and coffee flavor. The roasted character transfers trough the aftertaste featuring lightly burnt grain notes.

Medium-full bodied with a bit too soft carbonation and smooth texture.

When it comes to the art ancient master did it better. Brewing is Art hence no surprise Past Masters performed such an excellent job (500 ml, BB 04-19-2014, into tulip).

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Photo of wordemupg
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 26/4/12 thanks liamt07 for the bottle

A the darkest brown with deep cola highlights, large mocha head falls fairly quickly but manages to leave a single distinct thick ring of lace

S heavy amounts of smokey chocolate with some prune, raisin, earthy hops, dark nutty toffee and just a little coffee and booze

T has some char on top of what I smell and there's a little more of a hoppy profile that makes me wonder what this was like fresh because with a BB of April 19 2014 I'm guessing that it wasn't brewed last week but this week last year.

M not overly thick but the bubbles give it some life, faint heat and a burnt coffee aftertaste

O went down fast, too fast even, a great smelling and tasting beer is always a good thing, not a thick heavy monster and but this one is drinkable as all hell and for 7.4% it could just kick your ass because it sinks like a ship

I can just imagine walking into an English pub a 115 years ago and slamming a dozen pints of this goodness then going home to beat my wife with a stick no thicker then my thumb. Oh how time have changed, today the rule of thumb in my home... I get my ass kicked if I come home loaded after trying to session a 7.4% sneaky bastard like this one. another cheers towards liamt07 for this one

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in a chalice (sorry about that :))

A: Pours a magnificent dark brown to black color forming a big beige mocca bubbled aired head. Medium retention. Head never disappears completely, leaving only few lacings around

S: Roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee. Bit fruit and alcoholic too

T: Follows the nose. Strong notes of dark chocolate, roasted malts and coffee. Delicious roasted bitterness, oh boy!

M: Medium creamy body. Good carbonation. Intense roasted bitter aftertaste

O: Very drinkable. Kind of excellent beer to stout lovers like me...

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Photo of BretSikkink
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a mocha colored head - looks like Arabic style espresso. Quite chocolatey on the nose, but fairly clean overall. Roasted barley with enough "sweet" to be rounded.

Flavor is pretty solid as well. Slightly metallic, and finishes super-boozy. But everything else is quite nice: full body, great flavor with roasted barley, sweet lactose, and dark fruitiness that rises from the charred grain like a phoenix.

Fairly "masterful" stout that's plausibly an old recipe while enticing a modern audience. There are some flaws, and for the size of the booze, we could get more interplay between brown sugar and coffee-like grain, but these are small nits to pick.

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4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle.Snifter glass.Enjoyed on nov´11.Pure black appearance,dark mahogany to the light.Beige in color creamy froth. Small bubbled crown.Faily well retention then a thick ring is left.Some spotty lacing. Intense licorice & roasted malt aromas. Notes of smoke & coffee.Licorice upfront followed by mildy sweet malt,coffee,bitter chocolate & toffee notes.Full body,kind carbonation.Coffee finish & aftertaste.ABV is not felt.Pleasant drink.Fuller´s did it once again!!.Don´t call it Past Masters but Masterpiece.Very well balanced flavors & aromas.

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Photo of Ruds
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from the brewery shop at Fullers Griffin Brewery, Chiswick and poured into a Fullers ESB large pint goblet.

Pours a very dark brown 'almost' black in colour with a large frothy tan head.

Dark roasted malts make up the majority of the aroma and in the background a definate whiff of chocolate allied to a little nut and smoke.

Great tastes in this well balanced beer, picking up on all the favourites of a good old school stout that so many beers lack. From chocolate and coffee to leather, nut, a little dark fruit, a good dose of smoke - more so than on the nose and a small pinch of liquorice. A little woody on the finish (this is no criticism btw!)

Medium to full in body, you wouldn't necessarily think you were drinking a 7%+ beer! A fairly creamy texture which teases the throat for more and a small amount of carbonation which befits this style of beer.

Overall a very good beer and I'll definiately seek out again. However it cost £4.25 for a 500ml bottle at the brewery shop which I felt was a little overpriced!

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Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good for the style. Pours black body without a significant head. Slightly smokey, chocolate aroma. Thickish looking and it is above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Middle of the road conservative, not extreme in roast or smoke. Mostly sweet chocolate aftertaste.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the LCBO

Appearance - Black/brown colour with an above average size fizzy and frothy light brown head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, roasted/toasted nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is low amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also a bit of a hop bitterness and some burnt flavours. It ends with a malt and chocolate aftertaste and a lingering bitterness.

Overall - You can really taste the quality with this beer. It's well crafted and has a nice non-artificial chocolate flavour.

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Photo of bryehn
3.2/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Late night beer review. Pouring this into two ±250 mL servings in a small tulip. BB 2014.

Jet black, a thin beige ring and no lace.

Booze, wood, smoke, coffee and chocolate.

Lots of sweet wood and scotch taste. Bitter and dry, boozy and syrupy.

Very thick and viscose mouthfeel, I find it sweet on my teeth. Lots of wood and smoke in the aftertaste.

This is a pretty harsh beer that needs some age, will be glad to re-review, glad I bought three.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Bombardier conic pint glass.

A - Pours a deep Ebony colour with no light visible through the glass. The head is coffee coloured and retains very well.

S - Massive coffee aromas backed up nicely by dark chocolate.

T - Up front some nice sweet malt flavours of chocolate. The middle is expresso and the finish is massively coffee, and I mean big coffee. Slight roasted rauch flavour as well.

M - Full body and silky smooth carbonation.

O - This is a big stout and based on this brew I sure hope that Fullers bring out some more of these Past Masters brews. Its so well balanced and not overpowering. Its just nice to try a big stout without it having to be a super duper, double trouble Barrel aged stout aged in 240 yr old Whiskey barrels.

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Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with dark brown & ruby highlights, light tan head, light retention & lace

Demerara sugar, black licorice, coffee, roasted nut, light pear-like fruity esters.

Molasses, black licorice, bakers chocolate, coffee, roasted nut, hints of field berries, good bitterness, pleasingly light alcohol warmth.

Well-attenuated, moderate body, hints of roasted acidity, slightly drying alcohol finish.

Nicely crafted and very drinkable. I'd love to try some more pre-war UK brews!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nicer large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of roasted malt with some sweet lactic notes and black chocolate. Taste is also a nice mix of roasted malt with dry black chocolate notes and some lactic notes. Body is full with a creamy texture and some good carbonation. Interesting experiment though lacking a bit of complexity to be something I would have on a regular basis.

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Photo of mintjellie
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black colour, as if poured from a bottle marked 5W30. When held to very bright light, only the slightest trace of ruby appears at the bottom of the glass. It's tan collar is fairly retentive but doesn't really lace much. Complex but approachable aroma with notes of marsala wine, black coffee, chocolate, dried cherries, raisins, molasses, and a hint of butterscotch. Tastes bittersweet with a pleasant acidity. There is a powerful charred and smokey character underneath sweet dried cherry and tangy plum. That fruity quality is joined by French roast coffee midpalate, with both lasting into the finish. The finish is long, and eventually develops a light hazelnut character if allowed to linger long enough. There's just a hint of sharpness from the alcohol, and it enhances the beer rather than detracting from it.

Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels smooth and surprisingly light. Not watery light - it just doesn't sit heavy. This is a big and flavourful stout, and an interesting look into the history of English brewing. Fullers have chosen to innovate by drawing upon their tradition and heritage, and have created something that they should be proud of.

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Photo of liamt07
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Best before April 19, 2014.

Pours as black as the bottle itself, tan/mocha head of about a finger sits atop. Some good lacing and slim retention, save a thick collar. Nose has some lactic notes, a hint of smoke, bitter chocolate and some roast. This is reflected on the palate, milk and bittersweet chocolate, caramel, a bit of dark fruits, roast and underlying smoke as well. Well balanced, good flavour and a solid roasty bitterness in the finish, again with the gentle smoke and subtle fruitiness. Great mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An excellent stout, wish this was more readily available in the province.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the local Mitra liquor shop, shared with PapaEugene
Look: The beer pours a dark brown-black color with a nice brown head
Smell: A bit light. Coffee, malts and some salty licorice.
Taste: Wow, so much better than what could be expected based on the smell. Full flavors of coffee, salty licorice, soy sauce, dark chocolate with a very creamy aftertaste. Perfectly in balance
Mouthfeel: a bit thin for the style, medium carbonation
Overall: What a great example of the style, nice and balanced. Full flavored with only the basic beer ingredients!

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to northyorksammy for this one!

500ml bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with a light tan half-finger head. The head reduces to a small pillow and the beer appears to be quite oily.

S: Chocolate, vanilla and a small amount of licorice. I think this is gonna be good.

T: Semi-sweet chocolate, espresso and roasted malt.

M: Well attenuated and dry throughout. Medium body and less-than-average carbonation.

O: Got this as an extra and didn’t really know the back story until someone posted an article about it. This was very enjoyable and easy to drink. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old photos are in black and white and in keeping with the 'Past Masters' theme this beer is black and (kind of greyish) white. Not even a NASA telescope is strong enough to see through this black beauty, it is completely opaque. And sleek as spilled ink.

The aroma smells like someone burnt some sausages on the barbeque and then tried to put the fire out with a pot of black coffee. It is simultaneously smoky and roasty, showcasing plenty of dark chocolate truffle and rich espresso notes. It is clear that Fullers have held nothing back with this beer and apparently broke the bank on buying the malt.

The taste has an almost Rauchbier-like smokiness and hints of smoked ham or salami paired alongside rich Italian espresso and Belgian dark chocolate truffles. What more could anyone ask of a stout? A bit of milky sweetness rises with warmth as does a mushroom-y, truffle-like complexity of dark, earthy hop flavours.

For a beer that's half way to wine-like strength this drinks scarily easily. The additional alcohol is not tasted but assumed given the abundance of rich, gooey flavour. It has the decadence of chocolate, the roast of espresso, and the smooth gratification of a cream liquor. It is heavy though, and the pint is disappearing surprisingly slowly.

Fuller's Past Masters Double Stout (Heritage Series) may have an old-world demeanor but it has enough flavour and character to compete with any new-world offerings. While the English, even iconic brewers like Fuller's, are often flagged for being milder than their American counterparts, this is simply an exceptional, outstanding offering.

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Photo of MattyV
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the colour of black coffee, not quite opaque, and with a thin creamy tan head. Hints of cocoa, coffee, toffee, and tobacco in the nose. Taste follows the nose, with all flavours discernible and in balance with one another. Pleasant dry finish slightly smoky / bittersweet chocolate aftertaste. Hefty body and restrained carbonation. Highly drinkable, a wonderful stout from a classic recipe.

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Photo of Stocean1
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one finger head into a wine glass quickly dying down to a well retained collar with some fine lacing coating the glass. It is a deep brown and the head is the color of light coco.

The scent is earthy hops and chocolate with some cherry and plum.

The taste follows the nose with raisin, earthy mineral hops, and sweet dark bread. The earthy hops lingers in the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with little carbonation. It is relatively smooth with a dry bitter lingering finish.

Another great brew from fullers that did not disappoint.

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Past Masters Double Stout from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.