Oh yes, all you grimy metalers will be cock-a-hoop to know that Iron Maiden have been working in conjunction with Robinsons brewery to bring out “Trooper” brew – named after one of the classic Iron Maiden songs.
(I’m just not that familiar with old metal stuff, so I’ve no idea if the original track is actually any good…however, ask me about The Fields of the Nephilim and I can wax lyrical for hours on any of their song’s relative merits…)
Robinsons also make Old Tom, one of my favourite strong ales – at 8.5% it’s almost harmfully strong…but only in a good way.
Someone at either the ‘maiden end or the Robinson’s end knew precisely what they were doing when they put the Trooper recipe together, I was all ready to dismiss this beer of hand as yet another cynical commercial tie-in, you know: “let’s just dust off some old recipe and let it go out in a pretty bottle…“
Trooper pours a very nice pale copper colour whilst an ebullient cauliflower head crouches foamily atop, lovely fragrant malt and minerality feature strongly on the nose.
The taste leads out with a really excellent clean bitterness, which then gives way to a really chewy mouthful of malt – only for a nicely judged hop bitterness to come back on again and stay around for quite a while. There is some hop taste; which, although understated, has good piney and floral notes.
The aftertaste goes on and on and on, and it’s all hoppy and malty and bitterish and excellent…a bit like the whistling you get in your ears after a night out at a rocking gig – a happy reminder of what you’ve just experienced and which makes you look forward to the next time you can go and experience it again…
Trooper is solid and excellently judged…in fact it’s one of the best “beer” beers I’ve had in a long while. As it’s excellent out of a bottle, out of a cask it’s got to be just perfect. I look forward to encountering it on tap…soon.