Elemental | Renaissance Brewing

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BA SCORE
88
very good
52 Reviews
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ElementalElemental
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Renaissance Brewing
New Zealand (Aotearoa) | website

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by belgbeerdrinker on 01-03-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
101
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
13.32%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 101
Photo of dgilks
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich, rounded dark chocolate flavour with notes of bitter coffee. Really smooth on the palate with a medium full body and moderately low carbonation. The aroma is of coffee again with some roast notes. Well balance. The colour is dark brown with garnet highlights and the persistent tan head is also great.

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Photo of dansmcd
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Moinette goblet.

A - A truly beautiful sight. Extreme dark brown body beneath 3 fingers of fluffy thick head. Thick sheets of lace adourn the glass.

S - Cocoa and coffee with sweet maple syrup.

T - Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, the coffee is there but not overpowering. A subtle fruitiness comes through. Yum.

M - So smooth and milky with a dry finish. A joy.

O - Beautiful, rich porter. Probably not as complex as some but wonderfully drinkable. I thoroughly enjoyed mine with cheese and smoked ham. Do not pass up the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of rjimlad
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A massive beer. Black in the glass with a rich dark chocolate head. Big stinky cocoa aromas with a little hop action cutting through. Flavour is like an 85% cocoa chocolate with a little bit of roast beef thrown in. Slight hop to prevent cloying and clean the palate but still a bit chewy and sticky on the lips. Nothing bad to say about it really. This is a really good beer.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: almost black, with cranberry red hue when held to the light; dense cappuccino head has great length and stickiness

Aroma: dark berries - blackberry, raspberry - sweet like jam and damn appealing! hint of chocolate is a perfect match; truly addictive

Taste & Mouthfeel: luxurious satin mouthfeel, incredibly smooth going down; great blend of berry and rich chocolate , coffee gives way to just right bitterness that seems to be both mild hops and roasted malt, and finally a lingering dark chocolate powder; great profile, like dessert in a glass, but not too sweet

Overall: amazing vibrant and defined flavours, and love the start - middle - end flow; absolutely delicious

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Photo of biegaman
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the least captivating thing about Elemental Porter is its appearance. Whereas the flavour has enough brimming hops and burnt malt to turn the palate either green or black, the appearance is solely black, and, honestly, relatively dull in comparison. It looks like liquid coal and has a head that, despite seemingly good structure, shrivels away with time and air.

In the aroma, cocoa and hops are two sides of the same coin. Big and remarkably boisterous, they each slash into the olfactory bulb with the swiftness, precision, and severe force of a samurai. The brewery uses only hops grown in their own backyard - and what a massive backyard it must be to accommodate this recipe. How many acres went into this thing?

The appreciably green (as if just picked), earthy, pine-y, and overall pungent quality of the hops are appreciated every bit as much on the palate, which also features equal amounts of smoky, bitter raw cocoa pods and a black roast that's like the charred bits off the end of a fillet mignon. Notes of vanilla bean and black licorice also sweeten the already delicious, gratifying deal.

The texture has both the chocolatey decadence of a creamy, rich ganache but also the sooty, earthy, bitter sensation of raw cocoa. And again there's the grassy-green, spearmint-y hops which under no circumstances can be ignored. This beer has a profile that instantly conjured to mind the names of my all-time favourite porters (as well as a few imperial stouts too!)

I hear that in New Zealand new and extremely talented craft brewers are popping-up in droves. Even if Renaissance is the only one of those to actually make it to Canadian shelves, we can't consider ourselves hard done-by. Like the Stonecutter and Craftsman, Elemental is yet another feather in the cap for both Renaissance and New Zealand. An elite porter.

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Photo of danieelol
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Taphouse.

Mmm nose was delicious coffee and roast. There was also a substantial hop presence concealed slightly below the surface, which I really appreciated.

Taste is more solid coffee and roast flavours. This reminds me a fair bit of Coopers Stout in terms of flavours, especially the substantial roast and accompanying hoppiness.

Mouthfeel was thick and good.

Really nice beer.

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Photo of Offa
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with very big dark brown head that slowly shrinks to foamy ring.

Aroma is rich dark dried figs, coffee, chocolate, dark toast, dark toffee, caramel.

Taste is nice and maintains the character of the aroma. It is somewhat sweet and faintly sour up front with roasty-woody-pepper bitterness balancing nicely.

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Haven't reviewed anything in a while and was surprised to see that the scales are in quarter-points now - nice! Was motivated to review this because 1) I've never reviewed anything from NZ before and 2) this is a really good porter.

Poured into a pint glass, opaque near-black with cola-colored highlights and a light tan head of a cm that eventually fades into an uneven ring with some lacing. The pour was fairly agressive, and the beer was near silent with no splashing - I like that - demonstrates thickness and I anticipate it to be chewy.

Aromas are just awesome, like a fresh-baked piece of chocolate cake. Cocoa and sweet cream dominate, a little bit of brown sugar and cookies in there too. Super appetizing.

Flavorful on the palate too. A bit more molasses and roast, a bit less sweet chocolate than the aroma, with a fairly dry finish. I could drink this regularly. I had it with a spicy smoked turkey sandwich and it held up well. The label recommends it with "blue cheese and almost anything off the barbecue" and I'd agree, but I think it'd also be great with cheddar or some aged goat.

Maybe a over-carbonated for the style, but good body and nice drying finish, although with some lingering treacly sweetness coating the tongue. Overall, definitely worth the buy and I'll continue grab it as long as it's at the LCBO. Looking forward to trying more beers from Renaissance.

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Photo of 50wolves
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma - smells milky like, reminds me of a Guinness. Appearance - Pours dark with no carbonation, heady is very milky / creamy like (minimal head). Taste - Well balanced, mild tasting beer. Finish is present however not overly so. Mouthfeel - Creamy with a cool touch Overall - Easy to drink, fairly similar to Guinness.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Very nice black body with ruby highlights. A full bubbled head what leaves a fair amount of lacing. Slight indication of carbonation.
Smell- A real strong roasted nose with complexity between the malt used. There is cocoa and slight unroasted coffee bean sweetness.
Taste- A rich blend of dry roasted goodness. The malt drives an even bitterness through out each sip. The coffee bean is more evident in the nose, but the cocoa flavor is present behind the roasted flavor. Not overly complex but straight forward and enjoyable.
Mouthfeel- A medium body even with the carbonation, thickening as it warms to cellar temp. Dry body and assaulting so pair it with something good to eat.
Drinkability- Very good, try it with dinner. Although at 6%ABV its not really sessionable, I dare you to have more than a glass. It is a great change when the weather gets cold or you need a little roasted character.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark color, tan head, disappears a bit quickly.

Beautiful bouquet of malt and cocoa. Simple, but fantastic. Not a single off note.

Subtle flavor or malt, cocoa, licorice, perhaps hints of soy. Some hoppy bitterness on the release.

Fairly rich mouthfeel, nice.

Bitter finish.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown with a big finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with some dark fruit, and coffee with a touch of black licorice and vanilla.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with some raisin and other sweet dark fruits and a touch of black licorice. Through the middle, a bit of earthy hops come through with some roasted coffee. The finish is a mix of dark chocolate malts, coffee, earthy hops, with a bit of black licorice and dark fruit.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and roasted finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balance of chocolate and coffee flavors with the right amount of roastiness.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle. Pours a rich, deep chocolate brown. The nose is a hearty blend of dark malt notes: caramel, nuts, chocolate. The flavour is equally meaty and robust, with notes of smoke, dark grains, coffee and roasted nuts. The creamy mouthfeel complements the rich flavours. This is a like a meal, one of the most flavourful porters we've had.

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Photo of drtth
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a deep brown almost black color with a 2 1/2" tan foamy head, that leaves some patches and legs of lacing as it slowly recedes to a layer of foam. Each sip leaves a coating of foam the becomes patches, and legs of lacing.

The strongest aromas include black chocolate and cocoa, along with some dark roasted malt.

As expected from the nose the flavors are strongly dominated by dark chocolate and cocoa, both supported by the background of bittered roasted malt. The hops don't seem to me to play much of an obvious role here but may be contributing to the bitterness. With only 6% ABV there's no alcohol detectable.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth with gentle, persistent moderate carbonation. The finish is medium length and tapers off from the chocolate into persistent dry bitterness which seems to me to be more from the roasted malt than the hops. (It is also quite persistent and may be a bit stronger than some prefer.)

Overall I think this is a very well made beer with a lot to recommend it. The brewery says they have positioned themselves to produce high end premium ales to "enlighten the palate and thrill the senses." Seems to me as though they've done reasonably well at meeting that goal. I'd certainly be willing to have another sometime if it were possible to get it without the imported beer price tag it carries.

 1,396 characters

Photo of joecast
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Near black with attractive red highlights. Lightly tanned thin frothy head, good lacing.

Nice toasty chocolate aroma. Quite stout like. Faint floral hops in the background. Great start here.

Great integration of all the dark malt characters. Some dark crystal and chocolate notes. Light toffee sweetness. Very well rounded. Finish is neither too dry nor too sweet.

Really nice beer. Another winner from New Zealand. The beer scene there is really taking off and I'm happy to be on the receiving end.

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Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip.

Dark brown with some deep red hues around the edges. Khaki head with good retention and frothy, cappuccino-like lacing. Nose has great cocoa and chocolate notes, almost cakey. Light roast and a sweeter malt base. Taste has more roast upfront, almost too heavy initially. This lingers for a while, over some dark chocolate and some English hopping. More direct cocoa notes with warmth. Medium feel, moderate bitterness. Quite tasty, Renaissance has failed to disappoint yet.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What's from New Zealand, a porter, and won a Silver at the Australian Beer Awards in 2010? Renaissance Elemental, that's what. 500 ml of Kiwi porter, on to the beer:

Nearly black with definate red hues towards the bottom of the glass. The head on top is semi-creamy and forms very thick on top. The retention is excellent and covers the glass with lace. Its got a good nose, definate raisin, unsweetened choclate, and light tones of molasses.

Little flavors of marshmallow, baker's chocolate, esters, and a woodsy note make this porter mellow and pleasant. Light-medium bodied, though it does have a little chew to it.

This Kiwi brew has a very strong English influence, and it is one that works well. I'm already imagining what pulled pork would be like with this beer.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a warm, opaque sable with a VERY thick and fine-bubbled tan head. Not only is this head quite persistent, it forms an "island" in the middle of the mug as it dissipates. Smoky aroma has coffee, caramel and chocolate notes. Rich flavor has firm tones of coffee, caramel and chocolate plus a hint of licorice. Smooth, firm-bodied texture has a fair amount of fizz and leaves a smoky, tingly finish with a mocha tone to it.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Renaissance Brewing's 'Elemental Porter' @ 5.7% , an English style porter served from a 500 ml bottle purchased for $8

A-pour is a very dark brown almost black in the glass with a small tan head that is leaving a fine streaky lace film along the pint glass after every sip

S-sweet smelling roasted malts

T-very smooth dark chocolate , crisp finish

MF-ok/mild carbonation , full bodied , easy drinking beer

Ov-good beer , good English style porter , I will seek out more Renaissance Brewing

sampled alongside Deschutes Black Butte Porter & Mill St. Coffee Porter

prost LampertLand

 587 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BB October 2013. I expect it was bottled October 2012.

Beer is black and the pour results in a mammoth tan head. Must be very carbonated. Very good retention.

Smell is powerful and nice. Chocolate, cherry, raisin. Roasted malt. Anise. Smell comes through strongly even while pouring.

Taste contains roasted malt, a large dose of anise, cocoa and dark fruit (raisin, prune). Caramel. Sightly bitter, particularly in the finish. Quite tasty.

Medium bodied, on the full side, moderate to high carbonation.

Overall, very good. A very flavourful porter.

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Photo of irishevans
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Brown/black, with a rather dark tan head. head retains well, and leaves a good bit of lace.

N- Really burnt malt aroma, bit of coffee and chocolate in there as well. oh and I do mean burnt not simply roasted. mild hop presence also.

T- the burnt coffee and caramel dominate, but burnt does not mean bad, it is a rather nice rich flavor for a porter. there is again only a mild hop taste as one should expect from a porter, and a hint of chocolate flavor as well.

M- a bit over carbonated for me, but other than the crisp nature of most kiwi beers, nice malty and dry. true to style other than the bubbles, but not anything special.

D- If I lived down in these parts (as in New Zealand at all, not just Marlboro) I would for sure make a habit of drinking this as a fall/winter session ale. drinks very nice even with a nice porter viscosity.

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Photo of willjansen
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very dark, murky brownish-black... very much like muddy water, but somehow still appealing. Nice, fluffy tan head that is persistent and leaves nice rings denoting each swig line. Nice...

Smell - Srong notes of powdery cocoa, backed up by a nice wall of complexity consisting of hints of subtle berry-like fruitiness and perhaps oats. Alcohol reveals itself slightly as well, but very much in disguise.

Taste - Roasty chocolate flavors explode on the palate with a pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. Complexity not as apparent on the platate, but coffee and chocolate are well-balanced with hops and nothing is out of place for the style.

Mouthfeel - Watery, slick mouthfeel, but appropriate for the style. Low-medium, yet agressive, carbonation - great flavor delivery for this porter.

Drinkability - Excellent example of a porter in my opinion... very well constructed - complex, yet simple enough for a porter. Highly drinkabile brew, and a great introduction to renaissance brewing... hope they keep it up.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO. Nice to keep seeing Renaissance brews on the shelves.
. Poured into a goblet.

Dark Chesnut, nearly black. Good sturdy head of off white foam, nice retention.

Rich coffee, cream, licorice, caramel and nuttiness to the nose. Very nice.

Tasty porter, nice blend of flavors. Initally sweet but finishes dry. Coffee, roasted malts, licorice or anise. A touch of hops in the finish.

Lighter bodied, mild carbonation. Very easy to drink.

3/3 with Renaissance. Very enjoyable porter.

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Photo of sammiles
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Purvis Cellars, Melbourne.

Looked good before I even poured it. Was still happy after I poured it, nice almost completely black - what I always hope for. Good amount of lacing. Getting the roasted coffee and chocolate smell which is nice, true to the style. Taste does not let does not let down either, maybe a little too much as expected. Could maybe do with a bit more complexity on the finish but overall a very sessional and delicious porter from NZ.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 5$

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size fizzy dark beige coloured head. It's too dark to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Malts, coffee, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste dark chocolate and malts. There is also some vanilla mixed with coffee and a light smokiness. It ends with a chocolatey aftertaste.

Overall – I've had 2 beers from this brewer and they have both been winners. The chocolate flavour tastes like a very high quality chocolate. Well worth the price and worth seeking out.

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Elemental from Renaissance Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.
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