“Beer has been brewed on the site of the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick for over 350 years. The partnership of Fuller, Smith & Turner was formed in 1845 by John Bird Fuller, Henry Smith and John Turner. Members of the founding families are still involved in the business today. “
- 1845 (96 Points)
- Bengal Lancer (85 Points)
- Black Cab Stout (92 Points)
- ESB (96 Points)
- London Porter (97 Points)
- London Pride (93 Points)
- Organic Honey Dew (85 Points)
- Vintage Ale (2012) (98 Points)
1845: 96 Points
This English Strong Ale is available year-round in the U.S. in 500 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “To ensure this magnificent ale reaches perfection, 1845 is matured for at least 100 days before being released for sale. During this time the rich fruity characteristics of the beer are enhanced, while the well-rounded malt flavours create a wonderfully balanced ale. Given this, it’s no surprise that the philosophy of our brewers is that perfection cannot be hurried. Roger Protz, beer writer and critic, describes 1845 as ‘a rich beer with a fruit cake aroma, spices and nutmeg from malt and hops resulting in a dry, fruity finish’. It is also bottle conditioned, which means it is live beer which continues to ferment in bottle, adding to the complex development of flavours.”
My Description: This beauty is well deserving for any occasion. I would suggest enjoying this ale as a sipper rather than pounding out a few. It should be savored and enjoyed. It has a good sized, light beige colored head that lasts forever and produces an amazing amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and slightly complex with notes of dark fruits, caramel, and a slight roastiness. It is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This ale is well rounded with a sweet caramel body backbone upfront which transitions beautifully into an aftertaste that is moderately bitter. Upfront, there are also sweet notes of dark fruits like plums, toffee, and a hint of alcohol. The hops in the back have a delicious earthy/noble hop flavor. The quality in this beer is world class and it is a must buy. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with lamb chops, grilled pork loin, or stuffing.
ABV: 6.3% Color: Garnet Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 4/10
BENGAL LANCER: 85 Points
This English IPA is available year-round in 500 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Immortalised in folklore, novels and on the Hollywood screen, the real Bengal Lancers have their origins in the 1700s when the nawab of the state of Awadh, in today’s northern India, raised Bengal’s first regiments of cavalry. By the mid-1860s, these horsemen were under the control of the British Army, which saw them expanded and reorganised into a force of cavalry regiments known collectively as Lancers: so-named for the long and lightweight bamboo lances they carried into battle. Most officers were British or Anglo-Indian; all ranks wore British uniform, often with Indian flourishes and headwear. Bengal Lancer is an exciting, classic India Pale Ale from Fuller’s. Brewed to 5% ABV (5.3% in bottle), this ale has been inspired by the history and character of this traditional style of beer. The beer is pale in colour, full-bodied with a distinctive hoppiness that marks it out as a true India Pale Ale.”
My Description: The best part about this IPA is the mouthfeel; the texture is smooth, the body is clean, and overall it is a very easy drinking beer. It begins with a decent sized, white colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a little amount of lacing. The aroma is delicate and welcoming with notes of caramel malt and floral hops along with a hint of sweet fruits. Bengal Lancer is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This is definitely not a hop bomb but rather a subtle and nicely balanced English IPA. Upfront, there are sweet caramel malt notes with hints of light fruit like apricots. The hop flavors are subdued and rather bland but some floral and earthy notes can be faintly detected. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and lingers for only a few seconds. This IPA is a good representation of the style and is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fried fish, creamy cheeses, or fruit based desserts.
ABV: 5.3% Color: Copper Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
BLACK CAB STOUT: 92 Points
This Irish Style Dry Stout is available in the U.S. in 500 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with a combination of five different malts, some heavily roasted for a near jet black appearance, and beneath its dark exterior features luxurious red berry notes, toasty aromas on the nose and culminates in a dry, bitter finish.”
My Description: This is a great everyday stout that keeps you attention with good flavors, a semi-creamy texture, and a satisfying finish. It begins with a decent, beige colored head that fades to a film that holds for a while leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is faint but there are notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of coffee. Black Cab is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. A mild roasted malt flavor creates the backbone for this sessionable stout with notes of chocolate, some earthiness, and a hint of licorice. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and creamy making for an easy drinking ale. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with Scotch eggs, fried fish, or cheesecake.
ABV: 4.5% Color: Dark Chocolate Brown Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10
ESB: 96 Points
This English Bitter is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “ESB has a wonderful rich mahogany appearance. Taking in the nose, the beer is bursting with cherry and orange, balanced by soft malty toffee and caramel notes. The flavour delivers everything you would expect from such a full-bodied ale. The unique blend of Northdown, Target, Challenger and Goldings hops imparts grassy, peppery notes on the tongue along with intense citrus fruit characters of grapefruits, oranges and lemons. The blend of Pale Ale and Crystal malts in the brew give a biscuity, toffee element to the beer. A smooth, mellow bitterness lingers on the palate to give a superbly satisfying finish.”
My Description: My first reaction to drinking this beer is how delicious it is. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head with a retention level that lasts and a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is complex and pleasant with notes of dark fruit, orange, toffee, malt, noble hops, and a touch of tobacco. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer has a great malt flavor backbone topped with flavor notes of dark fruits, soft hops, and a touch of orange and spice. The finish is very clean with a moderately low bitterness level. This beer is perfectly balanced and the texture is silky smooth. As it warms up, butterscotch begins to make an appearance adding to the overall complexity and enjoyment of this ale. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fish & chips, chocolate desserts, or lamb chops.
ABV: 5.9% Color: Amber Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 4/10
LONDON PORTER: 97 Points
This porter is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Rich, dark and complex, at 5.4% ABV the beer has an outstanding depth of flavour. It is brewed from a blend of Brown, Crystal and Chocolate malts for a creamy delivery balanced by traditional Fuggles hops.”
My Description: This is a very tasty Porter; the quality of the ingredients shine through and it only gets better as it warms in your hand. It has a good sized, beige colored head that fades rather quickly and leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is bursting with a roasted coffee scent that is accompanied nicely by a subtle chocolate note. The beer is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Upfront, roasted malt and chocolate dominate the palate. This transitions beautifully into an aftertaste that is slighty bitter with a pleasing and lingering roasted coffee flavor. There are also hints of tobacco and noble hops floating around in the beer, which is welcoming. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, chocolate desserts, or your favorite burger.
ABV: 5.4% Color: Very Dark Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
LONDON PRIDE: 93 Points
This English Bitter is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Known and loved for its distinctive, rounded flavour, London Pride is the award-winning beer for which Fuller’s is most famous. In recent years its popularity has grown to the extent that it is now Britain’s leading premium ale: a welcome fixture in many pubs and off licences around the country, and now winning new friends abroad.”
My Description: To call a beer London Pride is a bold statement. England has such a legendary history of quality beer and they take their ales seriously. Fortunately, this beer is great and is worthy of such a label. It has an average, off-white colored head that fades quickly and leaves a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is where this beer starts getting good. There are scent notes of malt with hints of clean hops and toffee. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is remarkably smooth and clean making it a very easy drinking, sessionable ale. Upfront there are strong tasting malt notes that are accompanied by a hint of citrus and toffee. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a tasty hop flavor that brings great balance to the beer. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with fish & chips, roasted duck, or BBQ wings.
ABV: 4.7% Color: Copper/Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3/10
ORGANIC HONEY DEW: 85 Points
This Golden Ale is available year-round in 500 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Organic Honey Dew is the UK’s best selling organic beer. Light and golden with a zesty edge and a bitter-sweet flavour, Honey Dew is a naturally palatable brew that is Soil Association approved as 100% organic. Served chilled, Organic Honey Dew offers both refreshment and an unbeatable taste. The real organic honey in the brew gives a gentle sweetness that appeals to a wide range of people, even those who perhaps wouldn’t usually drink beer, making it a very popular choice!”
My Description: This isn’t one of the best Fuller’s ales but it still is a tasty and refreshing brew. It has a good sized, white colored head that holds for a little bit and leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is clean and inviting with notes of pale malt, honey, and a touch of herbal hops. This ale is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors follow the aroma nicely with notes of pale malt and a touch of honey. The honey is faint in this beer, which is nice because it blends with the other flavors rather than overpower them. There is also a touch of citrus floating around. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and I thought it could have been cleaner and more satisfying. But overall, this is a good ale to drink on a hot summer day. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with cheesecake, chicken sandwiches, or salads.
ABV: 5% Color: Golden Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
VINTAGE ALE (2012): 98 Points
This English Strong Ale is released in limited batches on a yearly basis in 500 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The 2012 Vintage Ale, our 16th, is brewed with three of this year’s finest hop varieties including, Goldings, award winning Sovereign and Target hops. These combined with our unique yeast and organic barley grown by Sir James Fuller on the Neston Park Estate result in a wonderful limited edition brew that has a luxurious flavour. Individually packed and numbered, this bottle is one of only one hundred and twenty five thousand produced.Although we are obliged to state a best before date of 2015, like a fine wine or whisky, this mellow golden ale will improve with age for many more years. Being bottle conditioned, the beer will form a natural sediment, so pour carefully, sit back, and enjoy this, the very finest of Fuller’s ales.”
My Description: This beer is delicious, clean, and remarkably smooth. It begins with a large, off-white colored head that retains nicely and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is somewhat sweet with notes of toffee, fruits, hops, and a touch of alcohol. The aroma smells great and welcoming. The beer is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The hop flavors in this beer are smooth and tasty. There are also notes of grains, caramel, some yeast presence, and a touch of alcohol. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing great balance to this ale. Surprisingly, I found this beer to be rather refreshing considering the alcohol content. This is a satisfying English Ale and is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with fish & chips or grilled shrimp.
ABV: 8.5% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10