Fuller's India Pale Ale | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

very good
135 Reviews
Fuller's India Pale AleFuller's India Pale Ale

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

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 01-22-2001

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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 298
Photo of baile208
2.53/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smell wasn't powerful as expected. Smooth IPA and easy drinkability. Dark orange amber. Taste is earthy with hints of citrus. Tastes of leaves and crispness.

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Photo of hotstuff
2.71/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured an off-white medium head with medium sized bubbles. The hue of this beer was amber and there was good lacing on the sides of my glass. The nose was that of fruit juice. This beer definitely has an aftertaste to it and this is definitely a beer that I won't be seeking out any time soon.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Like many other BA's, I tend to move backward to classic beers like Fuller's after a little burnout from huge gravity, west coast mega-hopped ales. I had a huge dance with Fuller's over the Christmas holiday, so this review is from notes.

This beer pours out a copper colour with almost no head at all. There was also no noticable lacing on the first, and only limited lacing on the second. This particular specimen had an unfortunate wall-paint like smell.

I had been enjoying a Fuller's ESB earlier on in the night, and I was amazed to find eery similarities between the two. This beer echoed the ESB's nice sweet maltiness, but had more of a slightly soured taste. I also felt slight hints of smoked peat in the mouth and aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is nothing special from a great brewery. I also have reservations about this particular selection because it is only available in the USA. Makes you wonder...

Still, this beer is an IPA in the time-tested English style and is wickedly sessionable. If you are going for a Fuller's, pass this one by and go to one of their finer brews - especially the 1845 and the Vintage Ale.

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Photo of KoG
3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle dated best before Nov. 12, 2003, lets see how it ages.

Had a great amount of carbonation that created a good head and left bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass from top to bottom.

Smelled a bit hoppy, but was mainly malt. Possibly a bit oxidized as well.

Taste was malty, no hops to speak of and very astringent. Oxidization was present but not predominant.

Mouth was a bit harsh but came with good active carbonation.

Lets just say fresher is better with this brew.

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Photo of tzchandler
3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer does not travel well. It's not just a Guinness thing. This bottled beer in California is ok. It's bloody awesome in London at the pubs (if your lucky to find it). The differences to me with this bottled stuff are largely one things. Drinkability which this bottle lacks. It does not feel the same sliding down nor does it have the same month feel.

To many of you expecting a hoppy beer, stay away. This beer has a bit of history behind it and hoppyness is not what this beer is about.

In many ways, this beer should be served at room temp (65F) and in a large pint glass surrounded at a wooden pub, raining outside and red velvet seats inside. A kidney pie with mash would complement this brew. Hopefully it would not stop raining for hours as you enjoyed the company and several Fuller beers.

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Photo of jwilli7122
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a single 12 oz. on clearance for $.99. Best Before: 18/AUG/03. oh well.

Poured a dark amber/gold with smallish white head which left some but not much lacing. Sweet buttery nutmeg aroma. Taste was buttery malts...followed by a very soft metallic aftertaste. hops are almost undetectable. a faint bitterness pops up randomly, but I have a hard time believing that this is supposed to be an IPA. Light, soft texture...kind of sweet/psuedo-spicy, like cheap chinese food.

Still, not bad. Maybe it would've been better if I'd had it 6 months ago, but there was nothing about it that makes me want to get a fresh bottle to find out.

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Photo of rosmhuire
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Substantial white head (but maybe our bartender just gave us a shitty pour)

S: Bready malt on the nose. Not getting much hops.

T: Very dry and refreshing. A tad too bitter for my liking, especially since this is an English pale ale, and I don't expect this much bitterness.

M: Medium-bodied.

D: Decent drinkability, though I'd like to see this a bit smoother.

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Photo of marc77
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light copper color in hue w/ a light haze. The mediocre head settles quickly into a thin layer. The very earthy, rustic and leafy Fuggles hop nose upfront is followed by slight nutty, biscuity notes. Fruity, pear - like yeast esters are mild but detectable. The body is fairly light, while the hop bitterness is quite mild for style. Hop flavor is not unlike the hop nose-- rustic and earthy, but borderlining of being a bit course. Malt flavors are light, toasty and a bit unexciting. The finish is dry, clean and comprised solely of hop bitterness. For Fullers, this is a most underwhelming brew. It's way too tame for an IPA, but drinkable as is nonetheless.

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Photo of avylover
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was holding out to try this because the price is high - $11 a sixer in VA. Normally I expect a high ABV and an over the top taste for that kind of cash but I had try this one.Pours golden and slightly hazy with a nice frothy head. The aroma and taste are nothing special, but good. Smell is not too strong but inviting, with a characteristic english bittersweet hoppiness and nice caramel maltiness. The taste is rather bland at first, but the bitterness kicks in in the aftertaste, leaving a nice zing on the tongue. This is not an IPA for a "hophead", . Not worth the price at all. Very unremarkable. A good beer, but once again, nothing special.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold color, large head. Slightly malty aroma. A mildly malty and not very hoppy IPA. This is a British style IPA so the hops are very subdued. Tastes are mild. There is a little bit of a floral flavor in the taste. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of Cs1987
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Fairly pale, more like an American IPA colour. 2 fingers of head which reduced.

Smell - Sweet and hoppy.

Taste - Fuller's haven't gone for a typical English IPA recipe here, and unfortunately I don't think their experimentation has worked. This is too low on malt flavours, and the somewhat metallic hops could do with more of a fruity character. I'm sure this would taste a fair bit better when fresh, though.

Mouthfeel - Fairly heavy for the style and ABV, good texture.

Drinkability - Not great.

Overall - Like Discovery, this is another pale Fuller's beer that doesn't particularly appeal to me.

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Photo of TheDM
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a mild fruity aroma. When poured, it yielded a medium head of off white medium to large bubbles that left a good lacing as it receded. Its body was a medium amber color. It has a mild initial taste with a slight after taste. Some carbonation was evident in the taste. This brew was much smoother than I expected. It is a decent brew, but give me their Porter!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice head...lovely garnet color,...aroma is fresh and fruity. Taste is not too hoppy, not too mild. All in all, underwhelming. For me, the American take on the IPA is the best example of what I love about the current brewing scene. American craftbrewers have returned it to the flavor, the hoppiness, the character it once had, centuries ago, while British brewers continue to dumb it down for our unsophisticated palates. (Another example: As a bartender, when someone asks for a Newcastle, I tell them I don't stock it and try to steer them toward an American brown or another full-bodied micro with character. Instead, they opt for Corona or Miller Lite!)

Nice, sweet, fruity,light, but too, too dissappointing!

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Photo of biegaman
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This dark but heavily burnished honey-golden IPA looks like it's had a spray tan. Whether yeast sediment or coagulate protein, whatever the little particles are, they are suspended as if in a Jello mold. It might make Jim from The Office proud, but it doesn't make the beer any more aesthetic. Its carbonation musters pathetically little head.

Fuller's India Pale Ale smells like a Fuller's product. It has a strong biscuity maltiness, an underlying of very green hops, and a distinct, prominent mineral content. I detect also a hint of honey. It smells reasonably OK so far as my senses are concerned, although in the big picture it would rank quite low so far as the IPA style goes.

I've become accustomed when seeing the words 'India Pale Ale' on a label to tasting fruity and grassy hop-driven flavors. Which is why, although the beer is perfectly agreeable, I can't help but feel disappointed. The flavors I detect - which are few - are mostly sweet and contain little of the citric, resiny nectar I so love in bolder examples of the style.

Instead, the beer is thick and heavy with toasted and nutty, slightly caramelized grain. It drinks more like liquid caramel than it does blended fruits, herbs and tree resins. The bitterness is as mild as the alcohol percentage (which is to say, about average). Not unusual for a British beer, high sulphate water minerals are the most prominent feature.

If most American IPAs are like Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner, Fuller's India Pale Ale is like somebody's grandmother sitting down to crumpets and tea to watch Coronation Street. No one can say this is a bad beer - I don't think such a thing can be said about any Fullers product - but it's definitely unexciting. Too status quo for my tastes.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.34/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not exactly what i would expect from an IPA but i have come to see that english IPAs are very different from American IPAs and should almost be given seperate distinctions.
Frothy head disipated quickly atop a brilliantly clear brownish amber brew. Aroma is of carmelly malt balanced by a distinct english hop aroma and a slight oakiness. Taste is more like an ESB than an IPA but it has a flavor of a little caramel with a lot of english hop character and a little saltiness due to water character. Finishes with an average hop bitterness that makes it different from the clean finish of a good ESB. Mouthfeel is good as this beer is light on the tongue and not very thick when it goes down. I would drink this beer again if it was the best offering at a bar that i might find myself but i would not seek this one out on it's own.

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Photo of doho95fu
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this beer to be ok. Poured out to an average and expected color but with with little or no head. It looked flat but didn't taste flat, so I don't think it was a bad bottle. It had a good balance of hops and malt, but I think overall it was not the best representative of this group. I personally prefer Smith's although some may disagree. It is, however, very drinkable.

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3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. FullerĀ“s Pint glass. Enjoyed on aprĀ“13. Pours light copper in color with crystal clear appearance. White froth, close & lasting crown. Mild toasted malt aromas, subtle resins, earthy & mint hues to the nose. Evident hop tendency overwhelm toffee maltiness. Medium body. Moderate to soft carbonation. Herbal notes & earthy bitterness in the middle provide sharp astringency that lingers into a no-sugar tea-like finish. Note:Label indicates 5.3% (Bar Code 5-011885-010478)

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle. Pours a orangey-brown colour. There's plenty of malt in the aroma, but not much hops. Anyone accustomed to drinking a West Coast style IPA may find this a bit tame aroma-wise. However, the taste offers a some nice cereal/grain flavours and there is in fact quite a persistent hop bitterness to the finish. Just not much aromatics.

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Photo of merlin48
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle, sampled 4 months before "best by" date. Pours a light bronze with a small offwhite white that left behind a small amount of patchy lace. Subdued nose of faint toffee and some herbal hops. Light to medium carbonation in the mouthfeel, with a mild hop twang. Taste is a bit of sweet caramel malt and some earthy, woodsy hops and yeast bitterness. Carbonation seems to dominate the palate. Finishes clean and dry. Very disappointed in the lack of character, but is nicely drinkable and would be a good session ale if it had a bit more flavor.

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Photo of Stingray5
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1pt, 2.6oz majestic bottle pours a burnt orange with a small white head that falls quickly. Smokey, malty aroma and very toasty. Medium bodied and carbonated. Taste is fruity malts and toast, with hops presenting themselves in the finish along with a hint of alcohol. A little thin in the finish, kind of trails off quickly. This is a very bready, toasty ale. Very good for what it is, but I prefer more hops and less toast in my IPA.

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Photo of cbl2
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Crystal celar brown with little to no head, served extremely cold @ Lazy Boy in Westchester


Nice crisp hoppy aroma with some moderate malt undertones.


Nicely smooth. A strong malt backbone with definite hop presence in the forefront, coupled with a bitter finish.

Not as exceptional as I was expecting this to be. For a beer bar, Lazy Boy's should know better than to serve this beer just above the freezing point.

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Photo of maxpower
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear deep amber color, big white head that clings to the sides of my glass. Strange malty caremel aroma, light mild hop flavor, watery thin mouthfeel, nice english IPA, seems a really light on the hops.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty clear orange color, the bottle seemed strongly carbonated but the head wasn't much, a wispy tan colored foam with little stick and no lacing as yet. Nose is pleasantly hoppy in its own British way, subtle caramel malts with a bit of toffee and a carbonation note. Clean.

The flavor is again hoppy in its own British way, without leading towards a strong bitterness, the hops are the bulk of the flavor. Light grains up front, finishing with a caramel sweetness, and an herbal hop note in the end as well. Aftertaste is herbal hoppy as well.

Nicely done but not terribly exciting. For the price here in Mexico I wouldn't have it again, but a nice alternative to American pale ales which are typically the happiest beer you can find.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This might have been one of the first English IPAs I ever had. Good bright copper color, good clarity, almost 3/4" white head on the top. Aroma hit some apple like sweetness, earthy hop vibe.

Taste is a mix of mildly fruity English yeast, hop bitterness, toasted pale malts giving way to toffee and caramel in the mouth feel. Like a steel drum. Very sessiony, easy to drink as long as you're just not totally against hops. Its not heavily hopped, its old school, but enjoyable. Wish the format was a little more friendly price wise though.

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Photo of beer488
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an amber color with low carbonation, head dissipating quickly. Abv on the bottle is 5.3%. Smell - very light to non-existent, sweet malt. Taste - medium bodied with hop bitterness. Bitterness in the finish. It is a refreshing ipa.

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Fuller's India Pale Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
3.91 out of 5 based on 298 ratings.
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