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Fuller's London Porter | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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1,207 Reviews
Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter

Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
United Kingdom (England)

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

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Reviews: 1,207 | Ratings: 2,575
Photo of DoubleJ
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried it for the first time tonight after coming home from my grandparents house, on to the beer:

A creamy white head sits on top of the black body known as London Porter. It's both light and full of flavor. The taste is a fight between molasses, chocolate, and coffee, but overall it won't wreck your palate and goes down very easy. Finish is semi-dry with smoky tones. This would be some devastating stuff if the pub I had this on-tap tonight served it in a huge one liter mug.

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Photo of liamt07
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a khaki head. The aroma is chocolate with some dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee and some English hops. The flavor is similar. Roasted malts with some earthy hops along with some bready malts and sweet chocolate. Not much coffee in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisit: 16 Sep 15
330ml Bottle
Best Before: 28 Sep 15

Been A Long Long Time Between!

Pours a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, quick fizzy light tan head, some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is very nice, malty, with some nice roastyness, chocolate, and toffee notes. The tasty is very nice, malty, very nice chocolate/toffee notes, slight vanilla. Medium body, with a nice dry/slight bitter finish. Overall, still one of the best for ABV. Highly Recommended!

Best by 30 Jul 06

A - Pours a clear dark brown/black in color, some carbonation, tiny head though, not much lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of slightly roasted malts, toffee, and caramel.

T - The taste is awesome sweet malty with some toffer/caramel overtones. Also and nice slightly dry finish.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. A very tasty brew. I've had a few Fuller's brew's and there all great. Highly recommended.

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Photo of tone77
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is alive with chocolate, roasted malts, a touch of coffee. Taste is the same except not as strong as the smell, still chocolaty with some malts and coffee. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the hand pump at Memphis taproom in a pint glass.

A- Fuller's London Porter came to me looking a very dark brown bordering on black. A tight off white head was on the top of the liquid while there was a nice amount of lacing.

S- Very pleasant with dark roasted malts chocolate and more roasted coffee in the forefront. Getting more into it some burnt aroma's come forth.

T- Mirrors the smell with a nice balance between the sweet chocolate and burnt coffee bean like flavor. Deep roasted malts are all around this and make up for a good amount of the taste. Some dry bitterness after a few ounces or so.

M- Smooth off the hand pump and steps above the bottled version. This one glides down the mouth with just a few rough edges here and there. a step above medium bodied with minimal carbonation and just a pleasure to sip or gulp depending on your mood.

D- In the realm of a sessionable beer with enough flavor to keep the good times rolling. I probably will never attempt to drink this from a bottle after having it this way. Smooth and silky with a stand out roasted character to itself. Would love to try this with some dark meats to go along with it. One of my favorites from the u.k.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

As I pour this beer fruit notes escape from the glass. As I stick my nose further in I get roasted notes of coffee and more of the fruitiness. A thick light brown head tops this fairly clear beer, which is dark brown in color with ruby notes as it is held up to the light. This beer has an incredible creamy mouthfeel to it. It is lightly sweet with a roast character in the finish. There is a very good balance between the roast character and the fruit notes. This is a wonderfully balanced beer, certainly one of the best Porters out there. The smooth creamy body of this beer is amazing.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fullers : London Porter

LOOK: Pours a dark brown with amber hues.

SMELL: Roasted malt and toffee. Caramel.

TASTE: Nice caramelized malt flavor, a touch of peat like smoke. Dry English style noble hopping. Tea like hopping and toasty malts. Faint cocoa. Even balance.

FEEL: Medium bodied, good medium level of carbonation, lasting malty flavor with a suggestion of hop.

OVERALL: A classic beer. Maybe has lost a touch over the years, or it could be modern extreme beers stealing the spotlight, but there still is something to be said for simple, full flavored, modest ABV beers. I'd always be willing to include a few of these in a session.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours dark brown with a tan head, nice lacing, a great looking pint.

S: Smooth milk chocolate, with English hops.

T: Chocolate malts, roasted malts quite a bit, mocha coffee, capuccino, with a bit of vanilla.

M: Smooth, creamy, great heft for a porter.

D: Excellent, I think that this is Fuller's best beer. It stands well and above the Sierra Nevada Porter I just had.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown beer with an OK tan head.

Smell is good scotch. Smoke, chocolate and coffee are the strongest scents. Sweetness, musk, and a mild floral scent are backup odors. Faint scent of alcohol permeates the whole thing.

Taste is smoke at first. Chocolate and coffee flavors come next. Herbal hop flavors appear next. Strong roasted flavor never leaves. Fruity flavors are in here but the hop flavor hides it a bit.

Mouthfeel is good even thick.

Nice drinkable porter here. I do believe the Samuel Smith's version is better though.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 500ml bottle, best before April 2008, drank May 2007.

Poured into a pint sleeve glass, it is dark, very dark mahogany, and a hint of red, with a fast shrinking coffee coloured head. I like the head to stay on my beers, this turned very quickly into no more than a wisp and collar around the glass.

Aroma of rich coffee, dark chocolate, burnt caramel and some plum pudding.

The taste is very similar to the smell, lots of chocolate, coffee and caramel flavours in there.

Dry and a little watery for such a dark looking beer, strangely the chocolate, coffee and caramel tones do not stay for long in the mouth. It does however sweeten up as the flavours die.

Too overpowering in the coffee stakes for me, the chocolate and caramel I can handle OK, but just a little too much decaff.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with a somewhat small head and okay lacing. Looks like a porter should. The smell is of lightly toasted grain and some dry caramel malt. The taste is similar. Rounded, with dry malt characteristics, licorice, and slightly nutty. A semi sweet chocolate aftertaste. The mouthfeel is dry and somewhat creamy. Very drinkable, and an excellent example of the style.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9oz tall can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich dark brown color with hints of ruby when held up to the light. Head is one finger of compact tan foam; quite attractive.

Smell: very nice, smooth chocolate/coffee aroma. True, they are the standard aromas of a good porter, but in this case they are melded very well. To me this beer smells like a mocha truffle -- a good thing indeed.

Taste: flavor is very good; a nice realization of the aroma. The aftertaste is just like the aroma: a delicious mocha truffle. Up front we get a little more chocolate and even some nice floral hops. Bitterness is not too high, and complements the flavor very well. Despite its candylike flavor, this beer is not too sweet. I love it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good creaminess despite the relatively low carbonation. The folks at Fuller's have done well.

Drinkability: this is one smooth, delicious porter. I will have to find a regular source for this, as it is simply wonderful.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one came in a 50 cl brown short-necked bottle. Label is black and purple with a picture of a griffin.

A: Pours dark brown with hints of red. Head is off-white rather large and creamy. Dissipation is slow leaving rich lacings.

S: Chocolate galore! Dry and medium roasted chocolate malt. Some bitter hops. Dried dark fruits. Dry but with some sweetness. Faint notes of smoked ham.

T: More of everything compared to the smell. More smoked ham, more chocolate, but even some caramell malt. Heavier roasted. More dark dried fruit. Dry bitterhops. Faint butter.

M: Long dry bitter aftertaste. Moderate carbonation and rather thin body.

D: Nice porter. A bit drier than other Porters I've had (interesting).

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Photo of puboflyons
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 11.2 fl oz. bottle marked 12 DEC 14-316-13:56. Sampled on May 25, 2014.

The pour is dark brown with ruby red hues and a short-lived off-white head. Decent lacing.

The aroma has a nice dark malt, smoky, and clean, crisp hop note. It smells the way a traditional English Porter should smell.

The body is light to medium.

The taste does highlight some of the toasty malty characters and biscuit. Mild finish. I mean, it is one of the Porters that others strive to emulate.

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Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer with beef and just like their site points out - a deep, dark, coffee-colored ale. Good head and carbonation. Some roasty maltiness and slightly hoppy finish. The ABV is 5.2%.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, burnished brown, with tints of red amber at the edges. Head is fine, although it retains only as a filmy remainder on the top, but it leaves some impressive English lace. Looks very decent indeed.

Nose is nicely mixed between deep chocolate and roasted grain notes, and a sweet almost vanilla sweetness. There's almost a hint of something spicy and peppery coming through as well, but it just gives tiny staccato accents to the other very mellow characters. Quite mild but extremely delectable. There's a wonderful complexity to it.

Taste is also extremely good, and exceptionally well balanced. Throughout there are nuanced flavours peeking and then receding. Hints of chocolate, heather, liquorice, vanilla, roasted grain, and a light astringency on the back to clear it out. Ah, it's a lovely nuanced and complex palate. Feel is smooth but slick and relatively clean.

What a cracking beer, a lovely example of what the English can do so well. A smooth and mild beer, with nuanced and subtle complexity that makes the experience worthwhile.

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Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA.

Pours a pitch black with a foamy beige head. Aroma of rosted malts dark chocolate and coffee. Taste very similar to aroma with malty dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Creamy and smooth up front with a dry bitter finish.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish black with a light tan head. The slightly buttery aroma features dark roasted malts, coffee and just a touch of chocolate. The taste is roasted malts and coffee with a nice dry and bitter finish. Overall, this is an outstanding porter that is certainly among my favorites within the style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of wl0307
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BB date 17/04/06.
A: in a goblet it pours a very very dark brown, next to black, colour, coming with a beige head disappearing slowly. Nice flow of bubbles in the glass is detectable.
S: deeply dark-chocolatey note mixed well with a juicy dark malty flavour overwhelms the nose; lots of rawness of crushed dark malts like calcium-pills at present too, along with dried dark-fruits (raisins and longan-fruit) and a tinge of tobaco sustaining well in the background--overall very dark-malty as well as fruity.
T: a flow of chocolatey flavour of chocolate and crystal malts (?) pours in my mouth, accompanied by a rounded but mild flavour of coffee beans, tiny bit of tart dark fruits, lightly diacetyl flavour, and a touch of divine intervention of smokiness... against such rich flavour of dark malts, quite mild hoppyness cuts its way through. Overall a very complex and balanced taste, not having the chocolatey theme overpowering everything else. The aftertaste is smoothly bitter, turning dryish and lingerings well down the throat.
M: very refreshing on the tongue as provided by mildly fizzy body, while rounded mouthfeel of malts is balanced quite well with a nice tinge of fruitiness, resulting in an overall smooth palate, not overly sweet and overly rich.
D: What more can I say about this beer... simply gorgeous~~ with such a glass of full-flavoured porter retaining a refreshing body and dryish aftertaste, it doesn't take a great Porter fan to fully appreciate its fullness and complexity--look what's happened to me!

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A blackish body with a small tan head and minor lacings. A semi-sweet malt smell with caramel notes and hints of coffee malt. Very sweet and somewhat creamy, medium-bodied, with hints of toffee, roasted, coffee and chocolate malts all in there and balances with a dry, satisfying finish (a mix of roasted malt and hops) despite a tad syrupiness from the beer. I could relax with a pint of this anytime.

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Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
4.2 out of 5 based on 2,575 ratings.
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