Totem Barrel Aged Oatwine

Barrel Aged Oatwine


Totem in Evergem, East Flanders, Belgium 🇧🇪

Barley Wine Regular
ABV: 10.3% IBU: - Ticks: 5
Mash of Titans, Aged on Buffalo Trace Corn barrels, Barleywine with oat

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Appearance - 9 | Aroma - 7.5 | Flavor - 8 | Texture - 8 | Overall - 8

Barleywine with a significant portion of oats by Totem, age in bourbon barrels; thanks to Craftmember, the designer of the label, for sharing the can. Thick, egg-white, frothy, membrane-lacing, moussy head, slowly diminishing and thinning over a misty deep peach-orangey beer with amber hue – looking like a nice barleywine indeed. Aroma of candied fig, dried apricot, caramel, bourbon, hazelnut oil, peppercorns, clear vanilla-scenting oak wood, almond, hints of clove, dust and old dried ‘herbes de Provençe’. Sweet, dense onset, candied figs and yellow raisins with hints of dried peach and medlar, medium carb, dryish undertone coming more to the foreground later on; smooth (very smooth even – the oats!) but full and sufficiently vinous caramelly, biscuity and walnutty maltiness, with only a very limited amount of residual sugars (which cannot be said of many other contemporary barleywines). A toasty bitterness and late but firm, leafy hop bitterness come into the mix near the end, blending well with tannic woody notes, retronasal vanilla and almond and warming, bittersweet bourbon, the whole of which provides a long, soothing, layered finish. Powerful but mature, ‘noble’ barleywine, rather ‘restrained’ in character for a Totem perhaps but all for the better: I often find attempts at barleywine (or oatwine, or wheat wine, or rye wine if you must) too sweet, too boozy and too crude, but this one has none of those shortcomings – so in a way more subtle than usual for this brewery, Klaas and Liesbeth once again demonstrate what a perfect mastery of American style craft brewing they have. This is barleywine on an international level of quality for me.

Tried on 22 Mar 2022 at 11:24


Tried from Draft from Station 1280 on 01 Nov 2021 at 17:16

Appearance - 6 | Aroma - 8 | Flavor - 8 | Texture - 8 | Overall - 8

21 August 2021. At Gents Bierfestival. Cheers to Anke, Kevin, Jerre & the Ghent beer crew! Hazy brown, stable, foamy, off-white head. Aroma of brioche, biscuit, peanut, cashew, pear, candied plum, brandy, dried banana. Taste has very sweet plum, banana & pear wrapped in brioche-like maltiness, syrupy, somewhat chewy-bready; clove-like phenols & subtle herbal bitterness in the back, tea-ish. Herbal hoppy finish, lingering dried fruits, bitterish orange peel, warming bourbon alcohol. Medium body, syrupy texture, soft carbonation. Hefty Barley Wine, yet a comfortable sipper.

Tried from Can on 25 Sep 2021 at 11:06

Appearance - 8 | Aroma - 7.5 | Flavor - 8 | Texture - 8 | Overall - 7.5

Pours very creamy (nitro) ,amberredish. Scent is very particular. Smokey meat / BBQ sauce, but not at all like I know smoke in beer. Taste is full, intense aromatic. Sweet, mild alcohol. Barrels show nicely. Lovely beer - winner of the festival to me.

Tried on 27 Aug 2021 at 09:46

Appearance - 6 | Aroma - 7 | Flavor - 7.5 | Texture - 7 | Overall - 7.5

Average of two separate ratings, nitro and regular draft. Funny to see that both overall scores were the same. Regular draft seemed to smell better, nitro tasted better, or... it was just circumstances of course. :p

15/IX/21 - on tap @ DOK Brewing Company (Gent), BB: n/a (2021-xxx)
Ap: 6, Ar: 8, Fl: 7, Txt: 6, O: 7.5, Total: 7.1

Clear deep amber beer, practically no head. Aroma: sweet, lots of caramel, overripe banana, a bit of vanilla, more banana peel, more caramel, rather oxidized. MF: ok carbon, medium to full body. Taste: lots and lots of alcohol up front, sweet impression and then a very harsh bitterness punching you in the mouth, very oxidized as well. Aftertaste: bitter notes, lots of caramel, some jam, dry, a bit of vanilla. Not bad, but was expecting to taste more barrel in this one…

21/VIII/21 - on nitro tap @ Gents Bierfestival (Gent), BB: n/a (2021-946)
Ap: 6, Ar: 6, Fl: 8, Txt: 8, O: 7.5, Total: 7.1/10

Pretty cloudy beige bond beer, big creamy beige head, stable, bit adhesive. Aroma: weird, oxidized, fruity, some dead yeast. MF: ok carbon, medium body. Taste: bit sweet, some cookies, caramel notes, bit sugary, hoppy, gentle roast, bit resinous, weird. Aftertaste: alcohol, yeasty, bit sugary, coconut, bit fruity, good stuff!

Tried from Draft on 21 Aug 2021 at 17:40