Fuller's London Porter | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,657 Ratings
Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
England, United Kingdom
fullers.co.uk

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-20-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,657
Reviews:
1,235
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
10.21%
 
 
Wants:
268
Gots:
414
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,657 |  Reviews: 1,235
Photo of Graham5161986
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting a long time to try this beer.

So...

It pours (into my Duvel tulip) a beautiful looking dark, dark molasses colour with a nicely formed, thick, tan, tiny bubble head with great retention. Nice, thick lacing.

Smell is of rich, roasty chocolate and coffee malt with some definite dark fruit in there too. A bit of chili spice thrown in there as well.

Taste is rich and really roasty with some gorgeous chocolate and dark fruit notes mid-sip with an irresistible bready, nutty, coffee cream flavour on the finish. JUst a slight hint of bitterness from the hops on the linger. Simply delicious.

Mouthfeel is thick and very creamy with a touch of spice and a nice level of carbonation (not too high) that accentuates the creaminess of this brew. Finish is mouth-coating and tingly but surprisingly clean.

Can't complain about the drinkability factor either. Goes down real smooth. I would certainly have another, or two, or three? Maybe a bit heavy for a session, but, hey, I'd rather sip and enjoy this one slow anyways. Man this stuff is tasty. I was excited about trying this beer and it really lived up to the hype.

 1,137 characters

Photo of PaterMorse
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I sit in the loft of a favorite London pub, I swear the setting has nothing to do with the fact that I've happened upon one of my favorite beers. OK, very little to do with it....

Either way, this beer is simply a winner all around.

A quick review follows (pecked out on PDA, to commemorate a new friend):

A: Raisin colored, translucent. Think Pepsi after ice starts to melt. Quarter-inch head remains for a good little while, giving way to some nice lacing.

S: Very pleasant, mild. Choco-coffee, but yet earthy/grassy. Hints of red berries.

T: Very easy, very drinkable (dangerously drinkable, in fact!). Coffee aftertaste (coffee ice cream, to be precise).

M: Excellent balance. Perhaps I'm just off here, but it seemed wet on the tongue but dry on the finish. Near perfect. A bit higher carbonation than I'd expect and not "Guinness velvety smooth" -- which isn't a knock, but a point of comparison (and a note that the taste and aroma are silkier than mouthfeel).

O: A great new staple. Recognizing that the following is relative to taste preferences, the universe of beers you've tried, and how one defines a "macro-brew," this is [by far] the best macro-brew dark beer / porter / stout that I've had to date -- with the exception of Samuel Smith's very fine pours. Very enjoyable, great drinkability. For whatever it's worth, it also kicks more than 5.4% would suggest.

Repeat? Absolutely. It will rival Sam Smith, nudge Guinness to the back of the 'fridge, and all but extinguish future purchase of Murphy's when stocking good macro-brew stouts/porters for gatherings. {Two disclaimers: I'm not seeking to provoke debate by suggesting porters and stouts are interchangeable; I'm only confessing that porters & stouts are my favorite beers and the only types of beer regularly stocked in my refrigerator. I'm also not suggesting London Porter is as fun or complex or even as tasty as some other craft stouts/porters I've enjoyed/reviewed; but for the beers brewed by a seemingly large scale brewer (and, heck, for ANY brewer anywhere), this is VERY tough to beat!!}.

Where Best Enjoyed? I suspect anywhere, anytime. That said, I can guarantee it will be wildly enjoyed if any / all of the following are true: (a) you're in a pub on the fringe of Covent Garden with friends and family; (b) you're just digging in to a piping hot Sunday roast; and/or (c) it's one of those piercingly cold English days outside and yet you're sitting near a fireplace with no place to be anytime soon.

Two Words: London Perfect

 2,529 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle.

Appearance- Poured a deep, deep brown with some tan/garnet highlights. Head was one finger after pour and left a thick foam throughout the entire beer.

Smell- Nutty, creamy, milky, half and half-ey, slight hints of mocha and toffee.

Taste- Starts out with depply roasted malts. The malt flavors are molasses thick. The nuts and cream come into play in the middle of the tasting. The finish brings together all the malts, nuts, and cream flavors into a nice semi-sweet chocolatey melange.

Mouthfeel- Pretty medium bodied for a pretty dark and creamy looking brew. There were lots of dark tasting flavors to back up the look and smell of this Brew. The palate of this brew is would go very nice with some Hershey's chocolate.

 768 characters

Photo of Higravity
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well this was spot on for a porter. Dark and brown-black with a tanish head giving up lacing. Nice smell of toffee malty goodness meshed with some nice noble hops. Good from the first sip, tastes of dark roasted malt with a tinge of sweetness to round it out and a nice little bit of hops that leave there own floral taste. Well-rounded and very nice a good beer anytime.

 371 characters

Photo of BierReise
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Porter-brown with a light tan head. Aroma is roasted malt and chocolate with an alcohol presence. Very smooth and creamy. One of the creamiest porters I've had recently. Crisp and only slightly bitter. This is one of the finest Porters I've had the pleasure of knowing. I'm not real high on English bottles but this is an outstanding example. Flavor is rich and nearly perfect for it's style. Chocolate stands out with hops complimenting roasted malt. Thanks for the recommendation John!

 487 characters

Photo of cyrenaica
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml can
5.4% ABV

I tried this beer on October 7, 2007 after purchasing from my local LCBO outlet. The beer poured into the glass a beautiful, dark, murky brown colour with a large tan coloured head. The aroma was a combination of malt and yeast with some sweet hints. The mouthfeel was thick and full with some mild carbonation, almost creamy. The taste was malty with some hints of caramel (the possible sweetness in the aroma). This was a very good beer.

 460 characters

Photo of mattreitz49
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dizzy
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with creamy tan head. Aroma is chocolate, carmel and coffee. Taste is carmel and roasted malt, finish is pleasant roasted flavor without too much bitterness. Medium body and with a fair amount of carbonation. This beer is too expensive to session, but this is a quality beer.

 292 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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: Excellent medium body; lightly crisp from start to the semi-dry finish. Creamy smooth.

O: "Rich, dark & complex", as advertised. Easy drinking (or sipping), flavorful porter that leans towards a dry UK stout.

 812 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big & heavy bottle to i pint glass the liquid is dark with low carbonation. An agresive pour does not yield much head, The 1 finger head fades fast to a tan ring but leaves good lace.

The smell is fruity at first sniff but turns quite coffee and some dark chocolate, more so as it warms.

The taste follows. Pungent dark fruit at first, but the real deal as it warms, an explosion of coffee and great dark chocolate notes all around, Excellent

The mouthfeel is good. not great but very good. The body is better then medium, fuller then most porters. However the carbonation on this on seems low.

The drinkability is very good. At first I thought, OK a good porter but I won't be hunting it down, but that later tastes after it warms are just great and yes I will be buying more. Prosit MK

 813 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very, very deep rusty brown. It is very close to being opaque, but falls just a little short of it. Puffy tannish head forums beautifully and immediatly begins to leave sticky clumps of lacing

S: Rich and full, but nothing incredibly explosive. Rather, the aromas of roasted malts, lighter coffee and soft chocolate blend together subtly and modest... even noting some scents like nut oils. Quite nice.

T + M: Nice roasted flavours, and a nice hoppy note that doesn't often get noticed - at least not as much - in others. A nice, chocolatey creaminess adds a pleasant touch. The body is very similar in that it is not too heavy or creamy... modest, but certainly not bashful! :P

D: A very nice porter, and one I'd be happy to have again. I've come to find that Fuller's tends to have a knack for making very nice beers, and this is no exception. Well worth it.

 867 characters

Photo of Rocko
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
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 eberkman
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a one-finger tan head that reduces to a film rather quickly. Red shards visible when the glass is held up to the light. Presents an inviting bouquet of bittersweet chocolate and dark-roast coffee, with some toffee sweetness. The taste is similar -- a nice intense dark mocha with some real malty sweetness and a creamy, buttery underpinning. Balanced out by a mildly bitter finish -- like a great cup of black coffee. Mouthfeel is a little thinner and waterier than I would have liked, but this is an eminently drinkable beer and would go with breakfast as well as any breakfast stout.

A top-notch English porter -- a lot more smooth and creamy than American porters I've sampled.

 700 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has been a while on my want list - did not disappoint
L - black with a tan head and lacking mg that hangs around a bit
A/T - charcoal/smokiness, toffee, chocolate and coffee
F - can't believe this beer is only 5.4% ABV - nice medium body and creamy mouthfeel - could drink this all day and be happy - I usually stay away from lower ABV beers because they're too thin, but not here. Nice and dry too.

 405 characters

Photo of OneTuffPony
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Best by date months away and clearly marked on label, I love how Fuller's puts quality first by displaying this so clearly.

Pour appears black in low light but shows a deep smoked scarlet crystal clear body when held up to light. Pours with 1 finger of light tan head. Looks creamy.

The nose is a nearly perfect balancing act of smokiness, English hops, and roasted malt. This smells like an English porter should smell I think. A little swirl brings up more of the same with the addition of chocolate notes.

A very tasty flavor of roasted malt pervades the taste of this beer, and it is high quality in that the acrid bitterness that is often associated is totally absent. Instead the bitterness comes from subtle hops that bolster the malts with poise. Other flavors present and appreciated are subtle vanilla, milk chocolate, a touch of cream and finally peaty smokiness. This beer isn't sweet but isn't very bitter, and instead presents an almost dry flavor, which I think holds to the original style well.

The mouthfeel is the only aspect of this beer that I feel could be better. If somehow it was creamier and fuller I think that this beer would benefit, but then again were the original porters even supposed to be creamy? Either way I am drinking it poured from a bottle, so how can I complain about creaminess when I know this beer is creamier on tap.

Conclusion: Another outstanding beer from Fuller's. I have yet to taste anything from this excellent brewery that isn't outstanding.

 1,522 characters

Photo of Asianadian
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Viggo
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 341 characters

Photo of Rayek
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep Mahogany colored beer. Slightly transparent. Not as black as other Porters. Unlike the bottle I had a while back, this canned version had a dense tan head that stuck around and left a fair amount of lace.

S: Great. Heavy chocolate and vanilla aroma can be sensed from a long ways way. Getting closed revealed some charcoaled wood and a touch of licorice.

T: A lot going on here. Again, chocolate dominates. It's joined by licorice, burnt malt, and subtle blackberry and cherry flavors. A mild burnt bitterness comes on late to provide balance. It lingers into the dry finish. I found the taste growing on me as I drank.

M: Just about perfect. Medium body feels silky and smooth. Carbonation is just right.

D: I was surprised at the differences between the canned and bottled versions of this beer. Both are great Porters. Relatively low ABV makes it easy to have another. I will be visiting this again.

 914 characters

Photo of washburnkid
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes.

A: Aggressive pour yields about a finger of a darkish beige froth of head. Brew is dark brown and chestnut on the edges. Very light retention and not too much lacing.
S: Roasted malts with the typical coffee and chocolate tones. Some delicious ripe fruity esters...so inviting! Not much of a hop characteristic is noticeable yet. I'm used to the american-style porter featuring a hint of citrus to balance out the malt. But this porter is still wonderful on the nose.
T: Flavors are SO super roasty. Just a ton of maltiness here. Mildly bitter chocolate with a nice dose of coffee (sugary and full-bodied/flavored). Chocolate becomes much more prominent with warmth. There is just nothing in the flavors that I don't like.
M: Light in mouthfeel but still has some weight behind it. Mild carbonation, though that may have resulted from the heavy pour.
D: Very easy and smooth going down. Tasty as hell. I would highly recommend this one to porter lovers.

 966 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Porter night continues. Split a 12oz bottle

A: Super dark brown color. Off white head. Decent retention

S: Smoked meat, chocolate, raisins, coffee. Really great smell on this one.

T: Smoke, coffee, dark roasted malt. Finishes with a sweet note. Almost no hops are detectable. Awesome beer with 3 stages of taste. Super complex.

M: Thin body for the style but it works. Feels excellent in the mouth. Carbonation is just right for the style.

D: Really good beer. Complex and enjoyable. At 5.4% you can enjoy more than one of these. If I had another bottle I would get into it. I have other porters to try tonight though.

 623 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with a small tan head with poor retention. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. The taste is the same as the smell, with hints of molasses present. Medium mouthfeel, creamy, and high carbonation. A very good example of how an English Porter should taste. Very good drinkability.

 304 characters

Photo of omnigrits
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Porters and stouts are among my favourite beers, and this one doesn't disappoint... too much. Not much of a head on pouring into a straight glass from this 12oz bottle, and what little there is soon dissipates to a patchy couple of knots of bubbles sitting forlornly on top of the beer. The aroma is nevertheless very promising with some powerful chocolate and coffee notes coming from the glass. The taste delivers in spades - not the same huge hit of taste on the tongue that you get with something like Sierra Nevada Porter, but a nicely subtle and balanced beer. the merest hint of malt sweetness with a voluptuous bitterness and those coffee and chocolate notes again. I'm reminded of fine cigars too.

Hell, I could drink this for breakfast!

 747 characters

Photo of Arno
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

appearance: almost black dark brown beer with a brown head. Not much foam unless you give it a good poor. Loses the foam quite quickly.

smell: caramel / licorice sweetness and coffee scented malts.

taste: Caramel and dark chocolate sweetness, tart like. Followed by a licorice and coffee, slightly bitter and dry, finish.

mouthfeel: It's thinner then a Guiness. Doesn't have that creaminess to it, but makes it more refreshing and easy to drink. Medium carbonation.

overall: I like this stout. It's thinner then most, but is packed with flavor. It's not hiding in subtleties, but just delivers the coffee, chocolate, licorice and caramel flavors with a nice balance of sweetness and a light bitter. If i had to criticize it, i'd say it's lacking a bit of depth. It's not something i'd drink all night, because it starts to bore a little after one. Although to me, this is quite common for a stout. It may be a little too sweet and straight forward for me to enjoy even more. But it's one of the better stouts out there, so i'd say: recommended!

 1,052 characters

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at ChipShop in Brooklyn, Atlantic Ave. location. Served in an imperial tulip pint.

A--Deep deep ruby red that looks black in muted lighting. Toward the bottom the garnet and ruby notes come out. Body's gorgeous, but the head's wimpy on this pour--ultrathin fingernail of white dense cream. Could use some more here for aromatics.

S--I know how this beer is supposed to smell, and I swished it some with my finger, otherwise you'd think the nose was unremarkable. In fact it's got wet coffee grounds' sharp aroma tempered but the smoothest, most expensive milk chocolate you'll ever buy. Somehow it's sweet and silky without losing the bitter edge chocolate should have. Speaking of chocolate, the straight nearly burnt roasted notes of the malt come through in the middle of the nose.

T--Very similar to the nose, and powerful without being overpowerful. More and more of that first-rate Swiss milk chocolate sliding down without being milky or simple, cut by those deep roasty coffee notes. This is pretty much a Platonic porter. Can't say enough about it--highwires the line of being big but not a stout beautifully. Very, very suggestive--one of those perfect profiles that nudges you toward so many flavors and lets your imagination round them out in this weird consummation that I call zen beer moments but you will call fruity beer reviewer syndrome, no doubt.

M&D--Mouthfeel's ultra smooth and creamy, medium-bodied. The flavor's are big so the drinkability gets cut down a bit, but a couple pints of this are like nothing. Try it with dessert, as I did--you won't be disappointed!

 1,600 characters

Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
4.21 out of 5 based on 2,657 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.