Beer review: Chief Mouser

For almost 100 years, records show there has always been a mouser—a cat employed to catch mice and rats— at 10 Downing Street, the heart of the British Government. The current mouser, @larrythecatatnumber10 has held the position since 2011, and was the first to officially hold the title of “Chief Mouser.”

by Mike

Despite his lengthy time at No.10, however, his tenure still falls short of the infamous Peter III who saw 5 Prime Ministers (including Winston Churchill) come and go between 1947 and 1964. 🐈 🇬🇧 🎩

This oddity of British politics is also the perfect name for the unusual collaboration between cat-lovers Noctem Artisans Brasseurs and Anglophiles Brasserie Albion. Indeed, they chose to brew a Barrel Aged English Pale Ale fermented with Brettanomyces Claussenii.

Presumably, this is intended to harken back to the original British Pale Ales of the 18th and 19th centuries, which would have been naturally infected with Brett (also known as British fungus!) and kept in oak barrels. While usually consumed fresh, many would have gradually aged, becoming “Old Ales” or “Stale Ales,” or something close to what we have here. 📚 🍺

Now if you’re expecting a more classic Pale Ale profile, you’re gonna get a surprise! It offers a unique bouquet which really showcases the Brett, giving off fruity aromas of pineapple, green apple, pear alongside lots of earthy, hay-like rusticity.

Of course, the malts do some solid work too— giving lots of biscuit, caramel and nut undertones— while the barrels show themselves too. It’s got a touch of apple acidity on the sip, but it’s balanced nicely by the sweetness of the malts. In the finish, there’s a bit of a tang, lots of tannic, woody dryness and an earthy, floral bitterness which caps everything off nicely. 🍏 🍪 🪵

While very unusual, I loved unpacking all the flavours and imagining what a pint might have been like all that time ago! A great collab! 👏🏻 😋

Originally from England, Mike came to Quebec ten years ago to study history. During this time he fell in love with the microbreweries of Quebec, which reminded him of English pubs. Now, he holds a Ph.D in History from McGill University, but works in the beer world as the Brand Ambassador for Microbrasserie 4 Origines.

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