I often mock the British beer scene for being too boring and archaic,
but sometimes a traditional British brew really hits the spot. Case in
point: Fuller’s London Porter. While not the most robust or complex beer
ever made, it definitely is impressive for its ability to be so tasty
and so smooth for an old world style brew.
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.
Appearance: Deep dark ruby red that’s seemingly opaque black. Forms a
huge, tan, frothy head which lingers and leaves gorgeous lacing on the
Smell: Classic porter aroma of black licorice, milk chocolate and dark malts.
Taste: There actually isn’t a lot happening with the palate to Fuller’s
London Porter, but what’s here is just so good. A blend of slight
confectionery sweetness, a hint of coffee bitterness and a lingering
chocolate candy aftertaste are the three main components to this brew.
It’s simple, yes, but they’re so enjoyable for their distinctiveness and
the way they all transition together. Not quite as sickly sweet as many
stouts, and has less bitterness as well. I think this may be the
absolute best beer to give to someone to show that "dark beers" can be
flavorful but not intimidating. Light sweetness and light bitterness
create for a perfectly balanced, delectable body.
Drinkability: As satisfying as the palate is, I think what really makes
this such a good beer is just how easily drinkable it is. The body is on
the thinner side (for a "dark beer"), but it’s not thin or watery per
se. It’s velvety smooth across the tongue and might even be considered
refreshing for a moment there. The aftertaste isn’t completely clean,
but just enough to leave a pleasing taste that doesn’t dry out the
mouth. At 5.4% Fuller’s London Porter is dangerously drinkable because
it could easily be sessioned all day, even though it’s a tad too big to
technically be a session beer.