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

very good
136 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: 136 | Ratings: 299
Photo of blatherbeard
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had never heard of fullers before trying this one at Buckley's in Merrimack NH.

It was a pale brown ale in a pint glass that made it to the table with no head or lacing to be seen. The aroma was of hops and spice. As i drank this ale, i was shocked to find a bit of a sweet taste, almost a sugar fore and aftertaste, with a bite of hops mixed with spices. Carbonation was perfect to fit the taste of a beer. Not a taste i expected from an ipa, and it was good. I was pleasantly surprised and would definetly have this one again.

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Photo of wl0307
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes of 04/04/07. Tasted by a half pint at the Doric Arch, the previous Head of Steam and now a Fuller’s house next to Euston Station, central London. The strength is 4.8% abv.

A: nice reddish amber in colour, coming with a thin white foamy head and great clarity; very find and steady streams of carbonation detected.
S: Marris Otter malts result in a pronounced aroma, backed by pretty settled note of autumn fruits, berries, a touch of caramelised sugar, and orangey hops. Refreshing enough, but not as complex as one might expect.
T: dry-ish hop bitterness prevails upfront, accompanied by mildly lemon-zesty as well as apple-ish fruits, tannin, lots of floral & earthy hoppiness, and an intensifying flavour of juicy & lubricating biscuity malts, while the bitterness level also increases bit by bit in the long, dry finish.
M&D: softly textured and tasty as a fresh cask-conditioned pale ale, benefiting from rich hop characters, a nice structure, and a superb, slightly tannic aftertaste. It’s a truly decent and more-ish “little” IPA~~

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Photo of Overlord
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat attractive coppery colored beer. Not much of a head. Was perhaps slightly undercarbonated.

Surprisingly malty and sweet. Definitely some citrus hops, but mostly malt, some fruit/floral sweetness, and a nice mildly bitter aftertaste.

Was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's as part of a Brewery Tour - Spring Beer Festival 4 pack...

Poured a nice golden orange / amber colour... Slightly off white head poured quite thick then faded to light ring around the edge... Very sparse carbonation. Very light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Nice juicy fruits (oranges, pears, apples and some grapefruit), light caramel malts, toasted bread notes, light spicy hops, earthy / grassy hints, some honey, light saltiness...

Taste – Nice spicy hop bitterness, toasted notes, nice biscuity maltiness, juicy / zesty fruits (definite grapefruits, lemons, bitter oranges, apples coming through), grassiness, slight nutty / caramel sweetness.... flavours all very well balanced...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry... Light / medium body... Very quaffable and refreshing - an excellent session beer...

Overall - An excellent example of an IPA and yet another fine brew from Fuller's.... Very drinkable... recommended...

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonder why this beer rates as low as it does. I think it's one of the better English IPA's out there. It's malty, caramelly, and moderately rich and well melded--much like the London Pride, only with nice hop additions. Hops adds a nutty, grassy, woodsy, bitter characteristics. Still well devised and well rounded. Very balanced finish. Smooth, creamy, and full to the palate. Not as drying as I would have thought. Could easily become a session beer for me.

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Photo of whynot44
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, very nice clear copper color with a creamy head.

Aroma is sweet malt, a little fruit, and fairly mild hops.

Taste is well balanced with a fruity malt base and a definite hops bite at the end, but not as strong as some IPAs.

Slightly dry, very drinkable. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged bottle.
16.9 oz bottle best before 14 / Nov / 03 sampled on 04 / march /05

Pours out hazy, lazy orangy brown, with light carbonation and a thick creamy, beige head.

head settles to a 1" layer and just sits there. Thick sheet of lace left as I drink the brew.

Malty aroma is heavy on the toffee, medium caramel, some nuttieness, and a little toastiness. Very little hops are detected in the aroma.

Flavor is roasty, caramel with just a touch of citrusy hops (ripe ruby red grapefruit). and a little sugar.

a little metalic quality was noted in the finish.

Overall I think it has held up well for a beer supposedly (almost) 16 months past it’s prime. I know I couldn’t drink a BMC that old. lol
I’m giving it higher marks based on the agebility of this sample.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at McCouls here in Greensboro,pours a deep golden with a nice one finger head that left a good amount of lace behind.Very well balanced aroma some English herbal hop but with a firm dry biscuity note in there,a real easy qqaffer here malty and fruity up front with some nice herbal,minty flavors in the finish.Smooth and easy to drink I think a real sociable pint with some nice flavors going on,another great one from Fullers.

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Photo of Suds
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very clear, golden color…leaning toward amber/copper. The head isn’t very impressive, a shallow white foam that falls fast into wispy nothingness. Smell is quite nice…solidly malty with a musty, floral, decidedly English smell. It’s not a typical IPA. Very doughy and malty, but also notably bitter. I really like the sweetness and the full, round malt character. It’s a welcome change from the American style IPAs. Full and somewhat soft mouthfeel. This brew is amazingly drinkable…it’s a solid treat. Very appealing.

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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 NearerMyBeerToMe
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours with an off-white head about half an inch deep and a few lines of carbonation. Beer's color is a uniformly very dirty copper, yet almost transparent; not much of a change in the highlights either. Smell is initially very sweet and caramelly or suggestive of sugar-frosted barley hulls. A somewhat soft, earthy/weedy hop element is also present, but very subtle. I'm sure this is well within the expectations of an English rendition of the style, but my Americanized sense of smell just demands more aggression in the hop department. Nosefeel is refreshing but thin and indistinct. Thankfully, there's a bitterness in the taste that emerges in mid-swig to offset a deep, earthy sweetness. This is actually quite nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is wet and medium in body, consistent from sip to swallow, and with a perfectly timed aftertaste. Once you've had your taste buds ripped out by an American Double IPA, this will seem very tame, but this gets outstanding marks in drinkability for just that reason. A fine session beer.

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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 Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy to find this one on cask at the Lazy Boy in White plains NY a ways back (and happy I took notes). Poured light straw, with a fine white head, left alot of creamy lacing. Smootha mellow IPA. Very soft on the palate. British all the way. Velvety malt , soft hops. Balanced and very enjoyable. Perfect session brew.

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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 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 WesWes
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thin white head. The aroma is decent. It's malty with mild hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a malty flavor with a bitter dry finish. The hops are not that pronounced, but the mild flavor is good and balances well. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with medium carbonation. This is a decent IPA, but it's done in a fake English style. There is hardly any hops and it's dry. I do like the maltiness, but the noble hops are just too mild.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a crystal clear light golden amber. The head was just slightly off-white and lasting to lace the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel malt aroma, and slight hops. Slight diacetyl in aroma as the beer warms.

The flavor is slightly sweet at first, then has good hop bittering and hop flavor. The sweetness is caramel and only slight.

The finish is dry and has an aftertaste of minerals. The body is medium.

12 ounce bottle. Best before date of 07/JUNE/04.

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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 cokes
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glimmering golden hued under a sticky bleached tan froth. Visible carbonation is almost nil, a few rogue bubbles surface occasionally.
Nose full of earthy, leafy Goldings, toffee, and fresh, crusty, buttered breads.
Begins lightly sweet, but only lightly. Like caramel draped apples, but not as fruity. Buttery hues waste no time arriving. And they work harmoniously. Diacetyl and butterscotch, laid down upon a lightly toasted bagel. Breakfasty.

But hoppier.

Goldings assert themselves in their own subdued way. Herbal, oily and earthy. Not expressly bitter, though it builds gradually and sufficiently.
This is a sturdy, medium-full in texture, aided by the lack of CO2, to give it a caskesque feel.

Drinkable? Are you kidding me? Only an IV would get this into the bloodstream faster. And I'm not even sure about that.

This is as far from Ruination as one can get, but if one desires to witness a modern template of the style, look no further.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presented in a narrow 12oz. bottle with a "best before" date of Jun-7-04 on it. Poured a clear orange color with a thin bubbly off-white head that immediately collapsed to a faint skim.
The smell was malt-loaded with toffee and tea notes and some mellow floral hops. A little bit of buttery notes also. The taste had lots of biscuity malt with a dose of caramel and toffee sweetness through mid-palate before a subtle hops bitterness in the finish balanced things out. The feel was light- to medium-bodied, smooth and clean.
So that's what an Old World IPA is like. After taking in a number of West Coast super-IPA's, this one really caught me off guard. Initially, I didn't care for it at first but as I spent more time with it I grew to appreciate it and stopped comparing it to the American IPA's. Worth a try to experience what British soldiers serving in the far reachs of the Empire had back in the day.

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Photo of rdrummer
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a different IPA than I'm used to, but it's really the first true English IPA that I've tried. The beer came in a 12 ounce bottle with a best served by date on the back label. It pours a gold to amber, clear with an off-white head with pale white lacing that is longer lasting than US IPAs. The aroma is intriguing but I'm unable to put my finger on the aromas other than hops. It has other hints. The taste is of a bull-bodied ale that is more bitter than most pale ales. There is a definite flavor of caramel in amongst the hops and other grains. It feels great in the mouth, being more full-bodied than almost any pale ale I've had and goes down real smooth. I will be adding this to my drinking list, and will be trying other Fuller's.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good interperatation of the UK IPA style. This is a darker coloured beer with a nice head. The aromas are simple and pull no punches. They consist of malts and hops in nice balance. The taste is the same as the aromas hint...malty with a bit of hops in the mix. The mouthfeel is MOR and the drinkability is great!

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale copper color with a thin white head. Smells faintly of English nobles, mainly Fuggles. Butterscotch diacetyl flavor consistent with an English IPA, with a lingering hop quench. Good malt profile to it, too. I love 2-row! Highly drinkable. A friend told me it sucked, but I bought a case anyways, and I'm glad I did. He likes American IPAs, but isn't an American IPA an oxymoron? I don't remember the US colonizing India... maybe other countries in the vicinity...

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a clear deep copper color with one finger of head. There is a little bit of lacing on this one. The smell is very balanced with sweet malts and a bit of hops. A little floral aroma as well. The taste is very spicy and malty, then ends with a bite of hops. It's not as hoppy as most American IPAs, but then again, this is one of the originals. The mouthfeel is fairly strong and full on the tongue. The drinkability is very nice, and I could sip on this IPA all night.

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Photo of theozag
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As IPAs go, Fuller's is above average. It has a crystaline clarity and an eye-pleasing amber color. The head forming over the beer is very thick and white, though without noticable taste or texture. Fuller's smells slightly sweet and starts with a smooth, sweetened goodness as soon as it hits your tongue. The beer has just a hint of spice at the outset, but you soon become aware of a much more complex group of flavors as you drink. Mouthfeel is about average among the other IPAs I've tasted, with a medium body and a weight to the drinking experience that sits on both the tongue and the stomach.

The finish and aftertaste of Fuller's are its most unique characteristics. The beer ends with a flash of lots of different flavors. Through many mouthfuls I varyingly detected the following: salt, caramel, cinnamon, chocolate, and maybe a little lemon. All of these flavors were gentle, which probably explains why I had so much trouble deciding what they were. This beer stays on the tongue and the lips long after its run out, but as long as your date likes IPAs, too, that shouldn't be a problem.

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Fuller's India Pale Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
3.91 out of 5 based on 299 ratings.
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