It’s Sunday evening and I’ve been watching GB’s sporting elite harvest medals at the same rate as Rich in a cider apple orchard, greedily plucking them before anyone else can get a look in. And I’ve been toasting their golden glories with something black.
Scottish brewery Tempest’s Elemental is a proper London style porter, which I’ve poured into a big wine glass for added toasting sophistication. It slides out of the bottle like molten metal, amassing a beige crown which fades to leave a black coffee sheen scattered with a few clusters of bubbles.
Typically for a porter there’s are obvious coffee notes coming through darkness but although the beer has a good amount of flavour the overall roasty-toasty effect is quite subdued for one so dark. There’s a more obvious injection of chocolate on the nose and taste-buds, and a rich, fresh, fruit hop finish, deliciously clean and dry.
It’s a lovely drink, beautifully balanced with a sumptuous viscosity, spritzed with a bit of fizz.
I’m now writing up these notes a few days after the tasting (the Olympic medal haul having reached bewildering levels) while the women’s hockey team are hunting for semi-final glory against New Zealand’s ‘black sticks’.* The Tempest bottle is in front of me, taunting me with its emptiness, while I sip tap water instead. I’m sure I’ll do some more toasting before the week is out, and if no more medals are forthcoming I’ll award my own gold to the classy black Elemental.
Brewery: Tempest Brewing Co., Galashiels, Scotland
Beer name: Elemental Dark Ale