Fluffy, cream-coloured head, extremely stable over copperish orange, clear beer. Intense hoppy nose, as well as asafoetida. Lots of lunaria, nectarine. Bit sweetish in the mouth, hints of muscat grapes, with a bitterish asafoetida finish. Not very carbonated, but with a very creamy feel from the stable head. All in all pretty classical - if to the sweet side.
4/II/20 - 33cl can from Geers (Oostakker), shared @ home, BB: 1/XI/20 (2020-121)
Clear deep orange beer, big creamy irregular off-white head, pretty stable, adhesive, leaving a nice lacing in the glass. Aroma: fruity, bit oxidized, caramel malts, some honey, sweetish, diacetyl. MF: ok carbon, medium body. Taste: sweet start, malty, bit sugary, caramel, some honey, bitter notes, fruity, hoppy, resinous, some alcohol, sticky hops. Aftertaste: more caramel, alcohol, bit sugary, quite some diacetyl, bit oxidized, weird, not the regular Totem quality. Reported to the brewery, as it turned out there could’ve been a problem with the canning device, and some cans got oxidized.
6/II/20 - 33cl can from the brewery, shared @ home, BB: 1/XI/20 (2020-xxx) Thanks to Klaas for replacing the can!
Clear orange blond beer, big fizzy aery off-white head, unstable, dissipates quickly, non adhesive. Aroma: fruity, grapefruit, caramel, tangerines, bit piny, resinous, fruity. MF: ok carbon, medium body. Taste: nice bitterness, fruity, melons, resinous, some caramel, malty, hoppy, grapefruit, nice stuff! Aftertaste: oranges, orange peel, tropical fruits, bit sweet, nice stuff, tangerines.
The second one from now self-brewing, restyled Totem in Evergem near Ghent, coming from a can that perpetuates and consolidates the same sleek, simplistic but efficient artwork style as the cans of the first 'new' beer (Kveik IPA). Off-white, densely mousy, medium thick head, quickly opening and retaining as a regular ring and flat greyish islands in the middle, over a slightly hazed but actually near clear, warm pale orange-hued peach blonde robe. Generous bouquet of grapefruit zest, bitter orange peel, old rusk, dry biscuit, toasted onion, chicken spices, white pepper, bitter honey, hot olive oil, pine resin, gin. Slick, cleanish onset, well-contained fruitiness of dried mango, apricot and citrus peel (the latter representing an early announcement of hoppiness to come), quite softly carbonated as befits a classic style DIPA, with a smooth oily body; lovely biscuity malt sweet 'foundation' with slick cereally edges, drenched in a robust hoppiness, providing lovely dry grapefruit peel, exotic pepper, fried onion and pine resin retronasally, as well as a long, drying, spicy, grapefruity and eventually mildly quinine-like, rooty bitterness, that blends well with a warming, gin-like alcohol glow, something which shows up just at the right time. If anyone in Belgium can do sleek, streamlined and highly credible American style IPAs without the slightest trace of 'Belgianness', both 'classic' and new (hazy), then it is indeed Klaas Dellaert and his Totem project, as he has amply proven in the past - and to be frank, I was not expecting this one to be anything less than excellent. The way I got it in my glass, from a can bought at BeerFreakChick at now one and a half month old, is an old school West Coast DIPA, the essentially Californian origin of DIPA that was so immensely popular years ago before New England gained dominance in the larger IPA world - and that is the way I personally (gradually) have learned to appreciate it. Granted, the New England influence has retroactively caused a slight 'softening' of its West Coast forefathers meanwhile as well and this Totem Double IPA more or less fits that profile, but that makes it all the more smooth and easy to drink - at least for those that are old and experienced enough to have enjoyed IPA's first big wave back in the day. IPAs like this still touch a soft spot in me - have an extra point for that. I will keep following 'new' Totem's output very closely.