Hop Totem

Brewery: Blue Owl Brewing
Style: Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer(28B)
Package: 12oz Can
Purchased: Whichcraft, July, 2018
Best by: none
Consumed Date: 9/21/2018

Details from the Brewer

ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 56

Hop Totem is a juicy, tropical IPA with a bold balance of bitterness, sweetness, and sourness; heavily hopped with Simcoe, Motueka and Falconer’s Flight hops


Aroma – 9/12

A mix of citrus, mango, acidity and fruit rind mix and a medium-high intensity on the nose. There’s a bit of grainy malt character with a touch of biscuit that peak through. Acidity appears to be lactic forward, mostly lemony. No alcohol notes or flaws. As it warms there is a slight vegetal almost vinous quality.

Appearance – 3/3

Pours with a deep gold liquid. Medium ivory bubbles compose a good size head that collapses pretty quickly with below-average retention. Fantastic clarity with no haze.

Flavor – 15/20

Acidity hits the palate first at a medium high level. This is quickly joined by a grapefruit, lemon character with a touch of mango. A bitter, pithiness become apparent shortly thereafter. This carries through to the finish, where the sourness ramps up as the flavors die off. Low sweetness with the balance towards bitter, sour and maltiness. As it warms the same vinous/vegetal note from the aroma comes forward.

Mouthfeel – 4/5

Medium bodied. Carbonation is medium and seems to quickly dissipate. There’s a slight slickness on the cheeks during the finish. Very little alcohol warmth.

Overall Impression – 7/10

This is a good, interesting sour IPA. I’m enjoying the integration of the citrus and tropical hop character with the sourness. However, the vinous note that creeps up distracts from the hop fruitiness. While the bitterness is in decent balance with the acidity, I wouldn’t mind if it was a touch less sour.

Rating – 38/50

This is a difficult category to score a beer, you’ll see all sort of base styles with sour, or wild characters. It’s always interesting to see how hops express is a clean beer versus a low pH one. In this case, a lot of the citrus and tropical fruit elements are there, but there is also that vegetal/vinous note. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it seems to transform the beer experience to something different than a Sour IPA.