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)
renaissancebrewing.co.nz

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:
4
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 101
Photo of JonCorbett
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured in to a chalice. Cola black. Carbonation consists of medium to large bubbles that develop a loose, frothy, and rather small head even with a fairly aggressive pouring. The head is a medium tan colour and retention is low - (rapid dissipation). Even after swirling it doesn’t stick to the glass and settles smoothly back into the ring.

Aromatics: Nose is full of dark fruits - dates/plums, with hints of vanilla and caramelized brown sugar, and mellow roasted coffee.

Taste: Starts somewhat fruity, and is quickly replaced with a grassy and slight alcohol punch, but finishes with a very impressionable cacao/espresso flavour. I’ve never tried to roast wheat grass, but if I had to describe the bitter - that’s what I would say is it tastes like toasted wheat grass. Rich bitter with a slight tang at the edges of the palate when it finishes.

Feel: A very robust character; medium weight and the lack of carbonation gives it a smooth and dry coffee texture.

Overall: A rich bitter nature so similar to coffee I would use it as an after dinner digestif, especially with a simple dessert like a fruit tart or pie and vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle no date

black, opaque, tan head. good head retention. aroma of milk chocolate and a little coffee. taste is slightly roasty, good balance of sweetness. slightly dry finish. nice thick silky mouthfeel.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter; allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma – begins with some roasted malt and light coffee and toffee; weakens but remains entire glass
Head small (< one cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy/fizzy, diminishing to irregular two to six mm ring and partial layer
Lacing good – curtains of tiny bubbles with large openings
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor light coffee and roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 3.75, Overall 4

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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 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.

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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 DenisKolkin
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served fairly cold into a Murphy's pint glass. Purchased for about $6 CDN.

Appearance - Very black, so black that all light is eradicated. A small thin layer of brown head rests on top visible reducing down to small wisps of foam. Imposing.

Smell - Plenty of coffee, some peat and a hint of black licorice. Also traces of vanilla soaked coffee bean and a trace of maple syrup.

Taste - Not really like the nose, as there's a touch of dark chocolate, big roasty coffee flavor and transitions to a leather like flavor and even a bit of smoke. The vanilla picked up on the nose, didn't translate in flavor.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, slick, low carbonation, good feel for a porter.

Overall - Very well crafted toasty and earthy porter with plenty of coffee roastiness and a bunch of other subtleties that an experienced beer connoisseur may be able to pick up.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Re-review with original Oct.2014..... Heat is gone. Wonderful beer. Zero chalkiness. No head after 10sec. Different beer altogether. Found this baby in the cellar. Me likie now! Age helped this girl out a lot! Buy buy buy!!!

Purchased at the LCBO for around $4.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- 4.0- Opens well and pours a TON of dark head that lasts

S- 3.75- Lots of roasted malt and nutty smell.

T- 3.0- Not so good. Very hot. WAY too much roast and smoke. Overpowering.

M- 3.25- Not bad. Dry

O- 3.33- This is the highest I can go. Will not buy again. Cut down on the malt guys.

Food Paring

This ok beer went well with..... Beef Stew

Enjoy

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Drank from my Mane Liquor Tulip
A - Classic deep ebony colour with a tanned head that retains and laces.

S - Molasses, caramel and roasted malts

T - Up front some nice spicy balanced toffee and fig. After that the sweetness just takes over.

M - Light to medium body with low carbonation. Too thin

O - Not a great example of a Porter

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampled this brew along with Renaissance's Scotch ale, thanks to a generous donor to the great beer cause here in sleepy Silver Springs, Calgary. This beer certainly looks the part of a so-called robust porter (as per the fine print on the label), a murky dark brown to almost black, although was noticeably lacking the red highlights you often get with a well-crafted porter from the Old World. Perhaps I just failed to see this but I still must rate accordingly. Fairly aggressive carbonation in terms of the billowing tan head as well as on the palate later. Too fizzy for me and for the style more generally. Aroma was pleasant enough, coffee and caramel, chocolate, considerable fruity sweetness like dried currants and raisins, a little fresh citrus rind from NZ hops. Standard high-end porter stuff but as was the case for the Scotch ale from this brewery, weighted towards the sweet rather than the bitter roasted elements. Palate yields a nice chocolate-covered raisins effect, a very smooth and refined roasted character, mellow smoke, some diacetyl butter that stays right where it needs to be, namely noticeable but not aggressive, and some interesting herbal flavors, including a pronounced mint note that strangely enough works quite well in such a dark beer and a smooth licorice drop style floral spice. Semi-chewy and of moderately thick body, with a little dry wood char in the reasonably dry finish. The final verdict? I tend to use many qualifiers in my reviews at the best of times, but this review is particularly tempered ("mellow", "a little", "refined", "not aggressive", etc. etc.). The beer comes off more as a brown porter than a robust one if you want to nitpick about style, which can be kinda fun. Everything is classy, unassuming, and downplayed, with the exception of the carbonation, although the beer is well-balanced and still flavorful.

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Photo of TerryW
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those impossible to pour beers with an insanely out of control head. Probably took me longer to get it out of the bottle tan to drink it.

Walnut black with a big head that settles to a substantial cap. Some lace, not a lot.

Chocolatey nose, noticeable sweetness. Charcoal.

Chalky and dry on the palate. Sweet malts, followed by sourness. Lots of chocolate and charcoal. Ultimately finishes quite dry. Thin-bodied.

Decent, but the sourness is a little odd.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - black with just a hint of light peaking through the edges, half finger of head dissipated to a few random islands
S - chocolate and roastiness, hints of cream, burnt sugars, and mild leafs
T - bitter bakers chocolate with burnt coffee and dark toffee maltiness, touch of creamy dairy, finishes slightly musty and earthy
M - medium body with a prominent cocoa chalkiness, yet still relatively rich and somewhat sweet, finishes with just a touch of bitterness
O - has an old timey label and a flavour to match which I enjoyed, its rich and bold while maintaining its relatively light porter character, worth seeking out

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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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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 StJamesGate
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black that goes purple-garnet in light with absurd piles of pocked burnt umber foam.
Oily coffee, treacle, charcoal on the nose - sweet.
Big coffee grounds hit with licorice, dried blackberries, and char and branchy and evergreen hops to end.
Malted milk ball finish and lingering roasty bitterness.
Medium, fizzy, dry.

Sweet malts and OTT roastiness battle it out. A medium-at-most body lightened by the ridiculous carb is the only thing that makes this a porter. It's got layers, but best beer in NZ?

Above average porter with too much fuss.

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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 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

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color porter with a small dark brown foamy head with average retention and some light lacing. Aroma of black chocolate and cocoa is pretty intense and enjoyable with some dry light bitter roasted malt notes also perceptible. Taste is also dominated by rich smooth dark chocolate notes with quite a bit of cocoa and dry roasted malt notes with subtle hints of coffee. Hops are very neutral. Body is full with nice smooth texture and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle. Weirdly difficult to read name, with an obscured main title. Only a sign of the weak sauce to come...

This beer pours very dark brown, verging on black hue, with bright reddish highlights, and one of those stupidly overwrought, immediately rising and overflowing at every juncture towers of thin, yet powerfully foamy beige head, which sets in for a serious spell, before eventually settling, to reveal some strangely sparse blobs of cloud form lace around the glass.

It smells of roasted chocolate malt, a bit of caramel/toffee sweetness, some creamy milkiness, sugar cookies, and ashy, earthy hops. The taste is grainy, toasted bready malt, caramel biscuits, semi-sweet cocoa powder, oily bar nuts, a bit of black licorice, a slightly off milkiness, and earthy, crackling leaf hops.

The carbonation is, as already noted, way the fuck out of control, still burbling up out of a half-empty bottle at this point in the game. Really, Renaissance? I know the first thing to check for in a non-bottle conditioned scenario (as far as I can tell here) is for infection, but the flavour is actually quite all right, so no problem there. Aside from this distraction, the bubbles are normative enough, the body a decent medium weight, and so-so smooth, a hoppy edginess taking its pound of flesh. It finishes on the drying side, the roasted character starting to fully assert itself, the chocolate notes aiding and abetting, and the hops looking the other way.

Once past the presentation chaos, this turns out to be a generally agreeable old-world porter, with the roasted, multi-pronged sweetness, subtle dairy notes, and nudging alcohol all making for an enjoyable tipple, once, well, you know...

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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.

 1,392 characters

Photo of peensteen
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly jet black, 1.5 fingers of tan coloured head, good lace on the glass as well. Smell is full of chocolate and roast, coffee with earthy hops and a bit of black liquorice here as well. Taste is also well roasted with chocolate, coffee flavour and bitterness, some earthy floral hop is present but light, medium bitterness, faint black liquorice and finishes lightly hoppy. Lightly carbonated, light-medium body, drying feel. Really solid stuff here, solid porter and something that was really drinkable, another above average offering from Renaissance.

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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 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 hopsolutely
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An impressive beer from New Zealand!

Pours a dark brown, near-black, with a respectable coffee-coloured head that dissipates fairly quickly. A delightful aroma of roasted chocolate malts with espresso or coffee bean undertones; lots to enjoy. The flavour is also well balanced with enough complexity to be interesting and to justify the 6% ABV. Elements of cocoa, chocolate and coffee with roasted malt highlights throughout the body. Surprisingly there is also a bitter hop backbone that leads into a delightfully dry and lingering finish.

A "robust porter" that I'd highly recommend.

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Elemental from Renaissance Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 101 ratings.
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