Friday was a great night for me. I got to see my favorite band on Earth. Iron Maiden! We drove from San Diego to the scorching hot San Bernardino where the heat reminded me of a Class O star. I was fortunate enough to have really good tickets that got me right in front to see this incredible band. After the show I went home and was surprised to hear that a friend here from BeerAlien had Iron Maiden Trooper beer waiting for me! He had picked up the beer from Geoi at Bine & Vine in Normal Heights. I had read about this beer for months, about how Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson hand picked the malt and hops himself. Robinsons Brewery is a small brewery that was founded in 1838 and is still family-owned.
Appearance: I popped the top of the pint sized bottle and poured it into a San Diego Metal Swap Meet pint glass (keeping it metal). I noticed the nice copper color with a thick, white head that slowly settled to a half inch layer that laced the glass all the way down.
Smell: The aroma was big citrus, pale malts, spicy and hints of hay. I noticed some grassy scents once the beer warmed up a bit.
Taste: At first I get some big citrus taste, followed by sweet camel malts and finishes with hop bitterness. As the beer warms up, all of these become more evident.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, slight viscosity with hop spices that tingle for a bit.
Hops are definitely evident here, but you should not expect them to be as pungent as say a west coast IPA. Trooper fits the English Bitter style very well. I know this is not a beer for someone who just wants the strongest stout or hoppiest IPA. This beer is for those who like many styles. Trooper is refreshing and satisfying. The English Bitter style of beer is really hard to come by in the U.S. and I applaud Iron Maiden and Robinsons Brewery for bringing it over the pond. Unfortunately, this beer is likely to be dismissed as band licensing novelty. I know I am an Iron Maiden fan boy, but I can still tell you that this is a good, quality ale.
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