Released on 20 June 1983 was the song "The Trooper" by British metal masters Iron Maiden. The song was originally inspired by ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ about the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 during the Crimean War when 600 British cavalry courageously charged the massed Russian artillery. The song has become a signature for Maiden over the years, and in what seems to be a natural connection, ale fan and history aficionado Bruce Dickinson, Maiden's vocalist, worked with Robinsons Brewery to craft this premium beer. And they've done well.
I managed to get my hands on a half-dozen 500ml bottles of Trooper, and after letting one chill for a good few hours in the fridge, cracked the cap. Immediately I noticed a quite broad malty aroma with a hint of caramel and a definite hops tang. The pour into the glass reveals a cloudy ale with only a small amount of bubbles, which is what I expected being an English ale. After letting it breathe in the glass, a noticeable honey bouquet comes to the fore and further encourages one to get right to it and have a decent draft. The flavour comes in initially as quite mild, but then the sharp hops bite sets in on the back of the throat and stays while the ale glides easily down. A slightly citrus aftertaste lingers which is rather pleasant, and that honey aroma seems to linger also. I did enjoy the noticeable (what I refer to as) 'eyeball rattle' that it provides and this seems to be a little more than a 4.7% alcohol content would normally produce. However, I'm not complaining, and overall am impressed with Trooper beer even though this kind of beer is not my normal style. Well done to Iron Maiden and Robinsons, who've added yet another facet to the band who produce what are easily the most interesting songs ever written.
Up the Irons!