Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Fuller's London Porter | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,212 Reviews
Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter

Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
England, United Kingdom

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,212 | Ratings: 2,591
Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle pours dark and opaque until backlit, which reveals a clear deep brown body with radiant ruby highlights. Small khaki head is lasting and leaves some wispy lace on the glass.

Aroma is roasty dark malts, with black coffee, dark chocolate, and inviting dark fruit esters of figs and raisins.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfectly moderated carbonation. Smooth and rich.

Taste is rich and dark, as the label proclaims. Bittersweet and milk chocolates, Columbian coffee, and soft dark fruitiness of figs and dates. Hops lend an earthy bitterness that provide an ideal balance. Finishes with a roasty malt bitterness.

This is the benchmark of the English Porter style. Tasty, well balanced, and exceedingly well crafted. Delectable drinkability.

 774 characters

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

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep black opaque body with a nice thick creamy light tan head that last and last. The few bubbles that rise up on the glass edges are tiny and fast.

S- The smell of fresh roasted malt with some notes of fresh coffee are strong. Hints of dark chocolate and pipe tobacco are faint but and a nice layer.

T- This beer has a nice dark malt and roasted barley taste with a note of sourness to it. A hint of graham cracker is in the background with a finish that is very soft on the hops bitterness but it is there. The dark malt has a nice nutty taste and it is very fresh tasting, like chewing on the malt right out of the bag. The finish has a slight coffee hint with more of a dark chocolate bitterness that offers more flavor than the hops. The finish has a very nice faint sweetness to it.

M- This beer has a medium body with a slight slippery texture. The carbonation is not real high but it is present.

D- This is an amazing porter. The flavors of fresh grain add up to make a wonderful smooth complexity. The slight sweetness is just perfect to bring out the softer flavors with out tasting syrupy.

 1,174 characters

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

Pours a deep, deep amber. Almost black, not quite. Nice head that stays for quite a bit. Mellows into nice lacing with great stickage.

Aroma is good, but overly chocolatey. It smells nice, but chocolate is very dominate. There is a touch of alcohol in the whiff, however.
Some fig and maple as well.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth... not harsh by any means.

Taste is excellent. Chocolatey and roasted goodness. Some hop bitterness. Pretty well balanced. Delicious.

 470 characters

Photo of karst
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark red with tan head that has good retention. Aroma of chocolate and toffee with inviting fruity esters. Taste follows aroma. Well balanced medium bodied brew that is absolutely without any flaws. Finish has the perfect bitterness for this outstanding porter.

Thanks to Fred for sharing this beauty!

 318 characters

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

The beer is a deep brownish black color. It initially formed a smallish khaki head that has died away to a bubbly film. Fine webs of lace are forming on the glass as I drink.

The beer smells delicious—lots of dark chocolate.

The taste of this beer is a rich mixture of bittersweet dark chocolate and black coffee. Very nice.

The beer has a medium body with relatively low level of carbonation. As expected for the style.

This beer is very drinkable—so tasty, and light enough in body to make it a sheer pleasure to quaff.

 535 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thick and foamy tan head that bubbles up a bit past the rim of the glass. The body is nearly opaque, but not quite there. Lots of cool lacing patterns making their way around the glass.

Smell: Dark, roasted malts, some bitterness like mocha or coffee, and maybe some hops in there too. Husky, also. Malt sweetness is evident a bit, but not overpowering.

Taste: Dark, roasted malts, with some bitter coffee, chocolate, slight malt sweetness, and finishing dry with hop bitterness on the tongue along with a slight sourness. Top notch stuff.

Mouthfeel: I wish it was a bit creamier, as the carbonation seems a bit scant maybe. Not enough? Otherwise it's good and medium-bodied.

Drinkability: This is a great example of how a porter should be done in my opinion. There are better out there I think, but I'll certainly be having this again. Quality ingredients and a quality brew.

 947 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What make this porter special is the huge drinkability inherent in its black veins. It has all the roasted malts and such but the smoothness is not a lack of body but rather a perfect balance of all inside. Malty and creamy the finish is dryish with real lingering flavour. The dark cousin of the ESB.

 301 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap yesterday for "lunch" at Max's. Got confused with so many choices, but all the ABV were high and I had an afternoon meeting. I got nervous, realized porters are good for chilly weather, and went with an excellent choice.

Damn beautiful brew. Black/dark brown with only red highlights available when put up to the light. Thick, middle finger width frothy creamy tan head on top. Staying power? The head had retention all the way to the bottom of the glass. Should've taken a picture of the empty pint to explain lacing.

Sweet aromas. Mostly carmalized malts. Very little choco/cocoa/coffee wiffs. No metalic or sour smells attall

Roasty, nutty, creamy choco/coffee goodness. The mouthfeel was what set this one apart from runof the other porters I've had lately. Just the perfect combination of thick and thin. I'd call it chewy, but it went down smooth as hell.

Overall, rock solid and recommended. Regrettably, my last time in the UK, they only had Pride on cask. This would be even more enjoyable in that manner

 1,041 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poors with a bubbly tan head, the settles down to abouts 1/4" head rather quickly, minimal lace. Mahagony body with superb clarity is a main selling point.

Smell: Choclate, toastyness& raisins, with wiffs of alcohol. a party for the nose

Taste: toastyness, more choclate, and raisins and nuts.

MF: Lots of malt (Slightlty chewy), dryness, and some hop presence on the edge of the tounge & throat. Carbination is good, not great .

I really like this, this is not an "in your face" sort of beer, I could see this as a stable in the cooler months.

BBD of 06-27-05, but I don't really think this suffered too much for it's age. The shop I bought it at takes good care of their high-end ales.

 703 characters

Photo of beeroclock
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very dark, which makes sense because it tastes alot like coffee, which it looks like as well. It poured very dark almost black and left a slight head that was a lighter brown that disappeared very quickly. The taste is excellent, like a nutty coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is great, its thick but not too thick. As far as dark beers this is definitely a strong flavorful one. This was served in a british pub in a pint glass here in Jax and I was pleased with it. I would drink this again, and I did, today, again times 3...
I had to edit this as I've been drinking this more and more lately, its become my favorite beer...Cheers!

 644 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours to a dark brown, almost black with a perfect tan head that subsides to a cm. Lacks any apparant carbonation, but has a decent spotty lacing.

The nose is of sweet caramelized malts. Only slightly chocolatey, and little to no roastiness or smoke.

The taste is quite good. Carries over from the nose quite nicely, though shows off a bit more roastiness and smoke, also with a more pronounced chocolate. Has a light lingering finish of roast and sugars. A bit nutty and earthy as well. Little hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel is perfect for a porter. Not too thin, but not thick or chewy either. Carbonation and a thinner body washes away most of the flavors letting only a bit of smoke linger on the palate to draw back for more. I wish I had some smoked gouda to accompany...

Quite drinkable. One of the better english porters I've had, and highly recommended.

 886 characters

Photo of BrinkyBeerBoy
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful bottle, and I love the Griffin Brewery logo. Below says "Rich & Dark" Info on the back about the the Brewery.

Poured into pint glass creating a 1 inch velvet tan head that sticks around for a little bit then climbs down to a nice sticky ring. Dark coffee colour with brown edges up to the light.

Wow! Outstanding Porter nose!! Loads of caramel toffee coffee that really stands out with very little chocalate. Smells like dessert to me.

Flowing over the palate is a heavy dose of roasted, toasty expresso coffee beans mixed with caramel, and molasses. With the dry hop bitterness this is in PERFECT balance!! Amazing!
I love that the aroma is unlike the taste. Goes from heavy sweet caramel nose to burnt expresso bean taste.

Wonderful creamy med-heavy mouthfeel with perfect carbonation, and the most incredible thing about this Porter is that at the very end, just when you think its over a burst of oily coffee bean flavor hits your palate, and then you feel this sorta cocoa butter taste on your lips.

Fun Beer to drink, Oh so drinkable!!! Great English Porter!!

 1,091 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like Newcastle's evil twin, or maybe the bastard son of a Newcastle and a Guinness. Very dark, with brownish auburn tones, similar to Worcestershire sauce. Thin, ash-colored head reminds me of toasted marshmallows

Smell: Smoky and sweet. The most interesting thing I noticed about the smell is that there is a distinctly Scotch ale side to it, with a peaty caramel odor. You can smell it most strongly right as you sip it, which adds a lot to the overall flavor.

Taste: Highly mocha-esque, with lots of caramel coming through. That's not to say it's like a Frappucino or something, because there's nothing sugary about this beer. It's bitter through and through, with notes of roasted nuts. It has a clean, sweet finish, and the aftertaste is all espresso, but unfortunately it doesn't last long.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light and creamy, which is rare in a beer with this much flavor.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, but I think this might come at the expense of the taste, which deserves to be a little denser and richer than it is. Overall, though, my senses were satisfied without being overwhelmed. Very nice!

 1,141 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep brown with ruby highlights, generous brown head of big bubbles. Leaves a bit of lace, but not a ton, and the head holds fairly well.

Smell is chocolate, roasted grains, malt, espresso, caramel, and fruits. Maybe a little bit of vanilla sneaks in there as well, but it's not as pronounced.

Flavor is definitely heavy on chocolate roastiness, but I was quite taken by the sour prune flavor in it, it really caught me off-guard and seemed like something of a throwback to the English days of yore. A little bit of caramel really catches the smoked roastiness well, and the overall effect is extremely solid.

Mouthfeel is nicely in the realm of medium, no complaints here.

Overall: Quite a fine porter, and one that I'll take any time.

 764 characters

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

Thick and dark (reddish-brown that nearly borders on black) with a frothy tan head. This beer has an intense chocolate aroma. There’s considerable malt, with a lightly roasted (again, chocolaty) smell. At times there’s a little distracting smell that seems slightly like burnt grain. All in all, the aroma is amazing. Little hops, and very little fruitiness in the smell. The first sip reveals that this beer is full and satiating. Very creamy (at times, with the big chocolate aroma, it seems almost like a thick chocolate milk). The brew dries out by the finish, which is just bitter enough to offer some balance. The finish opens up and thins out a little, making the beer very drinkable. This is extraordinarily good stuff.

 729 characters

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.

 556 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the 18.6 oz bottle, best by date of Feb 14, 2005 so....I'll try to get a fresher sample next time(Have had fresh samples before) and do an update if needed.

Pours extremely dark brown with a medium sized head that shrunk until there was only a fine layer on the top. The smell was all coffee and chocolate to me.

The taste was the same as the smell only reinforced. Lovely malty, chocolaty, coffee thing going on that made drinking this a real pleasure. Time doesn't seem to have hurt this one too much at all.

 528 characters

Photo of klewis
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before: 6/5/05 (but I bought it anyway)

A: Nearly pitch black with a big frothy head and lots of lace left behind on the glass.

S: I didn't get much except for a really nice sweet chocalate aroma.

T: Great chocolate flavors with a blast of strong cappachino coming well after the swallow. Excellent.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation that may be a litle much for my taste, but it certanly does not detract from the taste.

D: This is the best porter that I've had, and it comes at a great price. I will be drinking copius amounts of this in the future.

 578 characters

Photo of fretlessman71
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Griffin is London’s Oldest Brewery, according to the bottle. I’ve heard and read such great things about this porter, and I’ve enjoyed a few bottles of the 1845 as well. Lot of folks I know say this is their favorite of the porters. The griffin on the label reminds me of the Griffin Wheel Company, which I believe still operates somewhere near Chicago. Used to have a set of highball glasses from them. Hope this bottle isn’t THAT old…

APPEARANCE: Gorgeous translucent ruby/mahogany with a very dense tan head. If I had an ice cream scoop I could make porter head sundaes! Leaving some pretty good lacing as head withdraws.

AROMA: Dark fruit and milk chocolate. Maybe they use Ovaltine! Getting a little bit of metallic/pencil shaving as well, probably due to their yeast – I’m vaguely reminded of a bottle of 1845 I had a while back.

FLAVOR: So many flavors are coming through here – chocolate, roasted peanuts, caramel, coffee (light and tasty, not black and burnt like I usually drink mine!), just a touch of hops, enough to balance the sweetness of the malt and no more. Dark fruit from the aroma is more apparent on the swallow. Somewhat dry finish; maybe clean is a better word for it. Gets even better as the beer warms.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium light weight, carbonation not a huge factor – the large head doesn’t seem to translate into a fizzy feel. Very smooth.

DRINKABILITY: Very good at 5.4% - almost in the realm of a session brew. The complexity means that I won’t get bored of it after the first pint (or pint-and-13/80 - what an odd size bottle at 1 pt., 2.6 oz.).

OVERALL COMMENTS: I don’t think that Fuller’s can make a bad beer – this is further proof of that. Distinctive, recognizable flavors, smoothness, that yearning for malted chocolate milk – can’t think of a more wonderful way to spend an evening.

 1,885 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a dark black color with a creamy light tan head that recedes quickly. The aroma is perfect. Creamy chocolate with undertones of roased malt and coffee. The taste lives up to the expectations the aroma inspired. Chocolate and roasted malt engulf my whole mouth with each sip. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, medium bodied, and with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a great beer. Perhaps, even the perfect session beer.

 440 characters

Photo of funkengruven
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful taste experience. It pours a perfectly dark black chocolately coffee appearance that exceeds even Guinness. Smell is that of roasted coffee, exceptional. Taste is pretty good, bitter, with pronounced hints of mocha. It has a very thick consistency, somewhat heavy but still really good. Overall this is pretty drinkable, very nice change from ordinary beer that is for sure.

 394 characters

Photo of Noxious26
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured in a pint glass. Best before date 04/11/05.

Opaque black with just a hint of brown at the edges where a little light can slice through. Tan 1/2 inch head is dense but does recede to a thin cap. Sporadic lacing throughout the glass.

Aroma is very inviting. Just catching the faintest hints as I carried this from my kitchen to my computer had my mouth watering. Mostly sweet with tones of caramel and chocolate accented by hints of coffee and a burnt smell.

A light fizzyness plays across the tongue while a complementary burnt sensation hangs around in the background. Once the carbonation fades away there is dark roasted coffee, unsweetened dark chocolate and burnt biscuit. The burnt biscuit hangs around in the aftertaste for a good long while. The mild burnt/charcoal flavour balances nicely with the subtle bitterness.

Medium bodied and fairly creamy and smooth with a bit of a harsh bite from the burnt biscuit at the end. As the glass disappears, the fizzyness gradually fades.

A very well balanced treat, this porter plays it's varying flavours off one another beautifully. Fuller's London Porter is a fine example of a beer that is full of flavour, but doesn't go overboard or "extreme" with any particular aspect. Highly recommended.

 1,280 characters

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

presentation: tall, thin 12oz. bottle with an oval black label with gold, red and white graphics. the fullers griffin logo dons the top of the label. "brewed in london's oldest brewery" on bottle of label. explanation of fuller's porter is on the back label along with an abv of 5.4%. best before date is: june 24, '05. today is sept. 20, '05.

appearance: deep dark brown and almost black with a dense thick light tan head in a stein mug. head is pillowy and 2 inches thick. retention and lacing is very good. not quite opaque as being held up to the light exposes extremely dark red highlights. quite pretty for a dark beer.

smell: malty nose with a touch of alcohol. sweet caramel with light chocolate and coffee notes. campfire aroma as well.

taste: very malty with sweet chocolate and coffee flavors. lightly hop bitter mostly in the finish. there is a lightly smokey flavor to accompany the campfire aroma listed above. mild amalgamation of flavors. as the brew warms, there is a sweet almost buttery tongue tingle mixed in with the lightly bitter finish.

mouthfeel: light-medium body, but very smooth. carbonation is nice and a little abrasive at first, but not over the top. swallow is very smooth. i like my porters a little heavier, but this is quite nice for the english style.

drinkability: oh yeah, this is one drinkable porter. i need another before i'm finished with the review. could definitely be a session porter. alcohol is non-existant. bottom's up.

overall: very nice english porter. daddy likey. plenty of flavor to reward the palate, but not overwhelming. highly recommended.

 1,617 characters

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!

 1,535 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost black with color with a tall light tan head of foam. Some scattered lace was left as the head held together nicely. Chocolate malt with a big roastiness and smokiness taking over. A good bit of sweetness underneath all that roast as well. Sweet caramel and lightly bitter dark chocolate flavors up front. After that the huge roasted flavors take over with a light smokiness as well. Finishes out on a lingering roasty and dark chocolate note. Pretty slick and creamy feel to it but could use a bit more body. Easily drinkable and sessionable. Lots of flavor packed in here and it stays interesting.

 605 characters

Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
4.2 out of 5 based on 2,591 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!