Can from Geers. Clear golden, big, foamy, white head. Aroma of rosemary, apple peel, white grape, wheat, potatoes in a bag, straw, bread crust, unripe melon. Taste has sweetish apple & unripe pear over a bready, wheaty malt base with spicy & herbal notes, gentle citrus and bitter straw. Dry, grassy hoppy finish, very perfumey and herbal, with lingering unripe citruses and bitterish grape. Medium body, slick texture, average carbonation. Complex and satisfying Saison, which will never be my favourite style, but is very welcome indeed when it has the Totem label on it.
New saison by Totem, hopped with Hallertau Blanc, one of those postmodern 'New World style hops' created in the Old World, namely in Germany in 2012, by hybridizing Hüll with Cascade and aimed at creating tropical aromas in the same way you get from many New World varieties. Big thanks to Klaas, the brewer, for this can. Egg-white, thick, very moussy, tightly paper-lacing, large-bubbled yet dense and stable head, lightly hazed pale yellow blonde robe with vaguely greenish tinge and lively sparkling all around. Exotically spicy and fruity aroma of jasmin blossom and rose mallow, white dessert wine, meadowsweet flowers, bergamot, kumquat, green melon, spice bread, camphorwood, cilantro leaf, oxidized dry coconut flakes, vague hints of lychee, 'brut' champagne, cardamom, purple mangosteen or even slight passionfruit, paraffin. Crisp onset, colourfully fruity with notes of pear, pepino, cherimoya and melon, deceptively seeming sweet but actually very dry from the start; very active carbonation, minerally, but the carbonation is just about right for a 'saison' and adds liveliness and fullness. Supple body, bread-crusty and cereally, vaguely retaining some sweetness in an altogether dry environment, the dryness strongly accentuated by the hops - Hallertau Blanc at its most powerful, zesty, flowery, peppery and pungent, with lots of exotic-spice and tropical-flower assocations retronasally, but also this typical sweet dessert wine scent I tend to associate with it. Jasmin, fresh clove, lime zest, camphorwood and bergamot, however, are more prominent impressions of what ends as a notably exotic, spicy, dry but still somehow 'traditional' saison. Another Totem masterpiece: the old saison (the Belgian way) pimped with a huge amount of New World exotics created in the Old World. Conceptually, this reminds me a bit of their rhubarb pastry stout, where an exotic effect was created with an ingredient that is all but exotic. Only Totem seems capable of pulling this off, in East Flanders at least. Highly quenching, elegant and 'drinkable' but at the same time layered, powerful and surprising - this is Totem creativity 'pur sang', at least when it comes to quenching Belgian-inspired beers like this. A gem.
8/II/22 - 33cl can from Geers (Oostakker), shared @ home, BB: XII/2023 (2022-148)
Clear blond to beige beer, big creamy bit irregular off-white head, little stable, bit adhesive, leaving some lacing in the glass. Aroma: lots of banana, bit malty, herbal touch, sweet, bread crust, rural impression. MF: ok carbon, medium body. Taste: nice stuff, slightly acidic first, then lots of bread notes, malty, some banana, herbal bitterness, bit peppery, little fruity. Aftertaste: good bitter finish, some fruity notes, apricot and banana peel, herbal, a little grassy, metallic, bread yeast.
Pours slightly hazed blonde. Medium white head. Stable and creamy . Scent is green fruitjuice, harsh citrus, tropical notes. Certainly specific ! Taste is full, very pronounced hops. Fatty fruit. Tad grassy, coconut tones , green fruits. Milder citrus and tropical notes. Not my favorite.