Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Fuller's London Porter | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,201 Reviews
Fuller's London PorterFuller's London Porter
BEER INFO

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

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
Reviews:
1,201
Ratings:
2,553
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.24%
 
 
Wants:
250
Gots:
370
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,201 | Ratings: 2,553
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’ve been in dozens of liquor stores, both in Indiana and not, and I’ve only seen Fuller’s London Porter in one of them. Suffice to say, I had to buy a six-pack when I found it.

Probably brewed a few years ago, as the best by date is just five months after the date of this tasting (“BEST BEFORE 27 NOV 12”).

A: This porter is dark as ever, pouring a dark brown with tons of shining caramel-red hues. Lots of bubbly tan cream for a head, bubbling up to two fingers of fullness. A layer of silk serves as the retention, with some short chunks of lacing coming just above the body.

S: Chocolate and coffee erupts from my glass; I literally pulled my head back with surprise as soon as I stuck my nose in it. Toffee, vanilla, and caramel are ridiculously savory, riding on a chocolaty backbone that smells too rich to be just 5.4% alcohol – how did they get that much in there?! The rest of it is all dark fruits and roasts: chocolate-covered raisin, whipped cream, fresh-ground cappuccino, and darkly-kilned grains. No denying, this is one of the best first impressions I’ve ever gotten from the nose of a beer.

T: Porter-lover or not, I can imagine this palate being a religious experience for anyone who enjoys dark beer. Robust flavors of coffee and cream meld with chocolate overtones with smooth mocha creaminess. Toasted bread and smoke make the tastes ripe with earthy bitterness, firmly grounding the palate in bitterness as it’s washed over with nutty complexity. Fig, honey, malted milk balls, wheat bread crust, sesame oil, and floral hops pan out over the remainder. Finishes with a mouthful of coffee and charred wood, but without being noticeably dry. One of the finest examples of an English porter I’ve ever had.

M: This one comes out smooth and milky, with a thinness that’s charming than unpleasant. It goes down silky while remaining drinkable the whole time.

O: The bottle shop where I bought this wouldn’t sell singles, so I got a six-pack; and man, how great that turned out to be. Knowing that I have five more of these in my fridge is a wonderful feeling – this beer hits so many marks that I know I’d be going back for more if this were my only bottle.

 2,207 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bloody L right, mate! I haven't had this fine ale in about 6-7 years! Granted it's an 11.2 oz. bottle that's dated best before Mar 1, 06, but what the 'ell, I'll give it the the ol' college try. Pours a translucent deep cola color with a fizzy, beige colored head that dissipates rather quickly. I'm not so sure I want to drink this beer because it smells too damn good. Toffee, chocolate-covered-raisin, faint whiffs of chocolate-laden alcohol. The best porter to come from the UK. Spot on. My goodness, I'm in love! I knew I remembered loving this beer, and memories are a fun thing to revisit! The quintessential porter from across the pond.

Revisit 8/24/2007:
Just as good as it's ever been, the bottle I'm savoring now is fresher than the one I reviewed. Full tilt roasty goodness with coffee, chocolate and toffee/caramel notes. An awesome porter.

 857 characters

Photo of yelterdow
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in an imperial pint glass at just over fridge temperature. Freshness date reads "Best Before 08/JAN/06."

Appearance- Pours a very nice ruby brown, the light fighting its way through the glass. The half-inch head retains very well and laces with island-like cling... well built and appetizing.

Smell- Exceptionally strong chocolate and coffee aromas, a real treat for the nose. It seems like a whole lot of chocolate malt and medium roast coffeebeans were infused into the beer, and I want a piece of the action. Damn good nose!

Taste- Rich, tasty chocolate and coffee malt backbone... great balance and thoroughly enjoyable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Rolling and not too harsh in the mouth, active enough to support the bold flavors here. Great drinkability, and it's low (5.4 ABV) alcohol allows great sessionability.

Love it.

 848 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been a few years since I've had this beer. I forgot how great this beer is!

Poured a very dark brown with a faint coppery rootbeer color around the edges. It has a short tan head with no lacing.

Very nice dark rich smell with notes of dark malt, prunes and chocolate.

Full bodied flavor transitions smooth from dark maltiness to a rich dark chocolate, finishing with espresso. The aftertaste is such a smooth pleasant espresso aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. With a light creamy carbonation.

Overall I love this beer. This is the ideal benchmark for what I think a porter should be. Beautiful full bodied flavor with wonderful chocolate and coffee notes. I recommend this to all. I gotta try to keep this on deck at all times.

 757 characters

Photo of Absumaster
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pitch black beer with a thinoff-white head and very little visible carbonation.

Smell is mildly burned with coffee notes and molasses. The is a pale malty backbone, which backs up this roastiness. Then there is also a smell of dark, unsweetend chocolate.

Taste is maltbitter, but mild, with coffee, chocolate and cacoa. Hops give the beer an earthy bitter and hoppiness, which is also a bit resinous. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. This all sounds like another porter, but the amazing balance between the burned taste and malt and hops, make this beer stand out. Also the way the burned taste develops when emptying the glass is a sign of a lot of craftmanship.

 669 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Top to bottom, this is an utterly fabulous porter. Light barely gets through this one. Coffee-brown/black with a huge head on the pour and spectacular drapes of lacing. Coffee roast in the aroma, but in a mocha icing or coffee-cream-filled box chocolate type of way. As it warms, chocolate notes do come through more in the smell as well. A light-moderate hoppy bitterness seems to poke through and some really faint fruitiness. And this is all in the aroma! Soft roasty tones show strongest of all the flavors, with a mild lingering bitterness and bite. Mocha in the middle, coffee and light molasses come late. It's not an intense taste - and it drops off somewhat early (little aftertaste) - but it's balanced expertly.

This just drinks so elegantly - bloody creamy and smooth, not heavy, but with enough weight that it sits a bit. Fairly dry finish, which begs frequent sips and multiple pints.

 900 characters

Photo of droomyster
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely brilliant! Pours from the bottle a very dark with ruby highlights when held up to a light, with a frothy tan head that head that lasts about 3 minutes. Aromas are predominately of sweet malts, with roasty notes taking a back seat. Strong toffee and slightly less intense chocolate aromas hit me first; I also detect notes vaguely reminiscent of hazelnut coffee. Taste-wise, the front and mid-palate are very evenly balanced between these sweet and bitter elements. Finishes long on with a tasty toffee character. Medium-light body with moderate carbonation feels smooth through and through. Intensity-wise, it's flavors are not strong enough to pair with chocolates, but, when had all its own, this is one of my very favorite beers.

 743 characters

Photo of grayburn
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer sets the standard for porters in my opinion.

She pours a ruddy brown with a smallish head that has good retention and lacing.

The smell is very roasty and nutty, with a bit of bitter chocolate in there as well. A wee bit of alcohol is floating around.

The taste is the quintissential porter. Roasty, some dried fruit, toffee, chocolate, caramel...this beer is just loaded with tons and tons of flavor. Very complex and delicious, I cannot imagine a better tasting porter.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Medium body with decent carbonation.

I could drink this beer all night, delicious and highly drinkable. Stellar beer.

 641 characters

Photo of bcollar
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance --> Deep rich brown colour allowing only a twinkling of ruby coloured light through. Head has a slightly brown hue to it with marginal lacing.

Smell --> Chocolate and caramel are predominant but coffee makes an appearance in the background.

Taste --> Chocolate characters hit you up front with caramel notes lingering closely behind. A subtle coffee flavour finds itself teasing its way through the middle and a nice soothing bitter finishes things off. Great progression!

Mouthfeel --> Smooth but not quite silky texture gently coats the tongue. The slight carbonation of the beer is just right and doesn't detract from the texture.

Drinkability --> This was an exceptional beer and matches wonderfully with chocolate dessert! It's exactly what I would expect from a great Porter. This is a definite must try!

 848 characters

Photo of burnstar
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown with a medium light tan head. Aroma is dark roasted malt with coffee notes and some floral hops. Nice malty taste. Notes of dark chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Nice background sweetness. A few herbal hops. Just a bit of bitterness from the dark malt. Quite balanced, nuanced, and delicious. Mouthfeel is medium and just about right for this beer. Very drinkable and a great porter overall.

 416 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I hit the jackpot when Andy's North Campus here in Columbus sent an e-mail that they had cases of this for $11.99. Excellent roasted aroma with hints of chocolate. Rich, dark color with a thin head. Hearty coffee/chocolate flavor that neither dissipated nor overpowered. One of the best beers I have tried.

 348 characters

Photo of bobsy
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pint at Volo and also from cans and bottles. The beer arrives with a wonderful dark body and a nice foamy tan head. The aroma is of coffee and chocolate, and is extremely enticing! Very smooth - like drinking an espresso chocolate cake covered in cream. I find this to be far better on cask than the bottled and canned versions.

 328 characters

Photo of Gear54
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a pint glass.

A: pitch black with a thin layer of wispy foam atop the brew. Moderate lace

S: strong notes of coffee and dark chocolate fill the nose while malts are noticeable but only slightly.

T: follows the smell exactly. This is a very full flavor beer with lots of coffee and dark chocolate.

M: this one surprised me. I expected it to be on the heavy side based in looks and smell but I would call it medium at best. I would have liked it a bit thicker maybe...

O: My first time trying this one and I was not disappointed. I'm a huge fan of porter and stout style beers and this fit right it! Buy some and see for yourself.

 656 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with molasses highights. Big, vulgar bubbles form the head and quickly fade to just a ring. The aroma is a huge improvement on the appearance; big malty chocolate aromas (think malted chocolate milk) jump right out, along with crispy roasted malts and just a hint of fruity sweetness (raspberry?). Beautifully balanced mouthfeel, with some roughness from roasted malts and some hops coexisting perfectly with a slickness not far from an oatmeal stout's. Tasty chocolate notes, along with dry roasted malt notes, form the backbone of this beer, but there are also earthy hops and a bit of smoke in the palate. This is truly a wonderful porter, one of the best English examples of the style that I have ever tasted.

 732 characters

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

I've just made a cola float lol

this pint makes my mouth water that lovely looking tan head

ow wow that big coffee hit in the aroma along with full on roasts and chocolate notes.

The bottle says Rich Dark and complex well the first two are more than true real velvety and a big chocolate kiss with and a real expresso body.

Slightly thin on the mouthfeel though this makes this an easy drinker other than that spot on all round.

 432 characters

Photo of samie85
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Orignally reviewed 4/26.

A-Pours a cola color with a what looks like quite a bit of carbonation and a one finger white head.

S-Coffee, vanilla, chocolate and a hint of cinnamon.

T-Rich chocolate and coffee notes; also vanilla. Finishes with a dry roasty subdued bitternes.

M-Rich and luxuriously thick. The over-carbonated appearance is not present here.

D-Really, really easy drinking, delcious and complex porter. I'll be sure to revisit this one.

 455 characters

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

Package: 12 oz. tall, narrow brown bottle. “Best before 19/Sep/03.” No indicated ABV, although Fuller’s lists it as 5.4% in bottles.

Cost: $7.49 per 6-pack at Total Wines.

Presentation: Poured into pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Almost stout-like at first glance, one realizes that this is not opaque, but deeply translucent brown-burgundy. Formed a moderately dense, sticky, head, with a medium bead, which resolved to a very thin layer that lasted half-way through the glass. May have been affected by having been poured into a “used” glass, recently vacated by a Fuller’s London Pride.

Smell: The malts dominate here issuing aromas of burnt sugar, smoke, and toasted grain. As is typical with Fuller’s, the nose is restrained but complex, improving as it warms.

Taste: A veritable Greek Chorus of malts awaits the lucky person holding the glass. Brown, Crystal, and Chocolate malts produce a rich variety of flavors: dark fruits, wood-smoke, vanilla, dark toast, nuts, unsweetened chocolate, coffee, and the classically British diacetyl. The Fuggles issue a plaintive, but noticeable cry against the Full-Nelson applied by the malts. Has a long, lingering, creamy finish.

Mouthfeel: Very nice carbonation; noticeable but not intrusive. Allows the malts and rich body to achieve a lovely creaminess. The buttery elements coat the tongue, prolonging the beer’s lovely flavors. Smooth and silky.

Drinkability: Another great-drinking beer from Fullers. This is a medium-bodied porter that drinks like a mild ale. Don’t let its dark color scare you away. This is a wonderfully balanced brew.

Another stunner from Fullers. The orchestration of malts is deftly done, providing a wonderfully satisfying porter. An archetype of the style, which is even better on draught. I regard Fuller’s as an old friend, who always has the right encouraging words. A standard inhabitant at the top of my beer rotation along with the ESB and 1845.

Bottom Line: The perfect porter for quaffing.

 2,065 characters

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

Very dark brown in color with a thin head. Aroma is a nice roasted maltiness which mellows into a caramely sweetness as the beer warms. Taste starts off sharply with some hop flavor and coffee-like malt. The malt becomes more caramely mid-palate, and ends with a roasty, bitter, dry finish. Medium-full body. Quite a nice porter.

 329 characters

Photo of horshack7
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Out of a twelve ounce bottle it pours a very dark brown with amber hues. The head is lacey and foamy about an inch worths.

Aromas: Tremendous chocolate malt notes along with hints of coffee. Slight burnt hop notes.

Taste: A slightly crisp mouthfeel. Big chocolate malt notes with slight caramel notes. Very full bodied with robust coffee flavors. Burnt hops dance around the pallate with a smooth finish.

Notes: This is a remarkable English porter. This one could me through the coldest of winter nights.Cheers

 525 characters

Photo of donteatpoop
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer.

Poured a chocolate brown color with a small creamy tan head.

The smell was very enticing, coffee grounds and chocolate. My mouth was watering in anticipation.

My mouth was not disappointed. The chocolate and coffee blended beautifully on my tongue. Holy crap, it's like my tongue just had an orgasm.

It had a nice full mouth feel, as I'd expect from a porter, but the carbonation level seemed a bit high to me - jabbing at my tongue with sharp little bubbles.

Great beer. Wait, did I say that already? Well it's true. Definately something I'll be drinking again and again.

 589 characters

Photo of jj21
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tan head with good lacing covers a dark brown beer. Aromas of Caramel, chocolate and malt on the nose. Well rounded balance in this beer. The Chocolate and Caramel sweetness works well with the hint of hops. Goes down so smooth. No heavy alcohol presence makes this easy to drink.

 280 characters

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

Yeah, baby! From the great deep, clear, mahogany brown pour with tan head that laced, to the intense chocolate malt aroma, this one’s a winner. Sips tasted malty with powdery burnt toast/charcoal, and finished hoppy. Rich, full bodied – thinning as it warms. Defiantly a smooth porter to quaff and judge others.

 313 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 BitteBier
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown color with dark amber highlights and a nice cap of fine, dense tan head that laces quite well. Aromas of toasted malts and caramel highlight the rich, soft nose. Unexpected light crispeness at the start of the taste quickly yields to roasted flavors than then share the stage with nicely incorporated bitterness. While the smell and taste are quite full, the mouthfeel is pleasantly balanced, which goes a long way in making this an exceedingly drinkable porter.

 478 characters

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

This beer poured a very dark brown that looks nearly opaque. It formed a moderate sized head that was a dark tan and dissipated gradually. The smell was of coffee, chocolate and caramel, with some slight fruitiness. The taste was excellent, with coffee and chocolate being the dominant flavours, and the fruitiness coming through in the finish. Feels substantial in the mouth, but not so thick as to be difficult to drink. Great drinkability, just a wonderful porter all around.

 478 characters

Fuller's London Porter from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
94 out of 100 based on 1,201 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.
  • Quick Navigation

    Open the Quick Navigation

  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe