Brewed by: Robinsons
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Ale
- Variation: English Bitter (ESB)
- Seasonal: No
- ABV: 4.7%
- IBU: 35
Notes: Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden’s lead singer, worked with Robinsons to brew this beer.
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
Trooper is a Premium British Beer inspired by Iron Maiden and handcrafted at Robinsons brewery. Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon.
Hops: Bobec, Goldings, and Cascade
More Trooper Images
Artwork: A copy of “The Trooper” single album cover, one of the more popular tracks from “Piece of Mind.”
Color: Light amber.
Aroma: Not much aroma, but do notice malt and oats.
Arrived in: 16oz. Bottle
Served in: Glass
I knew that Motörhead had their own War Pig / Snaggletooth branded line of beer, which of course was not imported to the United States. A friend pointed this one out online, but unfortunately same deal — no US distribution.
Fast forward a couple of months, and who jumped off the the shelf at me in Bevmo? That’s right — Eddie! And for those of you who don’t know who Eddie is, I honestly don’t know what to tell you…
Eddie, or his formal name, Eddie the Head, is a pop-culture icon. He has graced the cover of every Iron Maiden album cover with his presence, along with all of the band’s merchandise.
I wanted to try Trooper just for the rare opportunity to say I drank an Iron Maiden beer. Who knows if it was going to be a one-time import? Or if it would even be any good for that matter…
I was surprised to see there were no lyrics on the bottle. But that’s okay, because there’s an informative history lesson about the song (The Trooper) on the backside label instead:
The Trooper song was originally inspired by ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. It took place at the Battle of Balaclava (1854) during the Crimean War when 600 British cavalry courageously charged the massed Russian artillery. This gallant but foolhardy assault resulted in a massive loss of life and came about due to a misunderstanding of an order given by the Commanding Officer, Lord Raglan.
As far as the beer itself, I had low expectations going in, which were somewhat exceeded. I viewed this as a novelty beer, and it wasn’t too bad at all. I was expecting worse, but it still could have been better.
An ESB, or Extra Special Bitter (can also be Extra Strong Bitter), is the British equivalent of what us Americans like to call a pale ale. They call them Bitters.
Compared to most American pales, Trooper was on the lighter-bodied side, which definitely made for easy drinking. It just didn’t feature the level of hops you would expect to find in its American counterpart.
The Trooper poured a finger-thick layer of foam, which died off very quickly. It did retain a very faint layer of froth throughout the glass, but still drank flatly.
The flavor department is where this beer fell short. It started off dry and sweet, with a tinge of citrus. It could have used more malt, and there was not much hop bitterness in the finish.
Iron Maiden uses amps for their guitars, and this beer needed to crank up the IBUs. It was too drowned out, and just not intense enough “bitter” hop flavor. You waited for it to get louder, but it didn’t.
Final Score: 2.5/5
All rock fans will jump at the opportunity to have a Trooper, and it was hard not to get caught up in the Iron Maiden nostalgia, especially with Eddie appearing on the bottle. This will go down as one of the coolest bottles ever, but I wish the beer inside was better than average.