Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Not so super Trooper?

There has been a great deal of publicity about the new Trooper beer developed by Robinson’s brewery in conjunction with legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden. While singer Bruce Dickinson is someone who always seems to have steered well clear of the excesses of the rock and roll lifestyle, he is described here by Pete Brown as “one of the most passionate beer advocates I’ve ever met”. How this collaboration actually came about remains something of a mystery, but it’s certainly proving good business for Robinson’s, who have been brewing three times a day, six days a week to keep up with demand.

Clearly this is a beer aimed at a wide international market, and was never going to be the headbanging hop monster that some seemed to expect. However, all the indications were that it would be towards the pale and hoppy end of the spectrum, and Bruce says in the report I linked to that “I wanted a beer that’s full-flavoured and punches above its alcoholic weight”.

This is a beer that I very much wanted to like, but having now sampled it in both cask and bottled form I have found it distinctly underwhelming. The cask was a pleasant beer with a bit of body to it, but which didn’t really drink its 4.7% ABV alcoholic strength, while the bottled version was just downright bland and I struggled to find much flavour at all. No doubt it will be on the bar when the local CAMRA branch holds a meeting in Robinson’s visitor centre this coming Thursday so I’ll get the opportunity to form a second opinion.

It must be said that I have also found the bottled version of Robinson’s staple beer Unicorn to be very disappointing in comparison with the cask, which to my mind can be excellent when well-kept. This distinction seems to be greater with Robinson’s than with many other breweries.

13 comments:

  1. I have to say I have found Robinson' s to be not the most consistent in good beer brewing.

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  2. You have to admire a chap that has fitted in rock star, airline pilot & grog brewer into one lifetime.

    I quite liked Trooper. Nowt special but I've been pissed up on worse.

    With all these blogger collabs occuring when we gonna see Mudgie Beer? I'd drink that. Go on Mudge, make a boring brown bitter for old codgers to neck whilst reading the Daily Mail.

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  3. Well, if any local micro-brewers want to give me the chance...

    Anyway, I'll continue sampling Trooper in the hope that it might improve.

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  4. I haven't seen this one, but I thought the Robinson's beer brewed with the band Elbow, Build A Rocket Boys!, was quite unremarkable.

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  5. @Cookie, we already have one, it's called Courage Best

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  6. @Bill See if you can spot Mudgie in this :-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmno3TQtiwM

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  7. Had a pint of Trooper at the local Spoons last week. I took one mouthful, swallowed and thought "Bugger me, it's pretty much like every other Robbies beer." My conclusion was that either they make only one beer and water/colour it to make their entire range, or their yeast turns whatever recipe used into "Robinsons Beer".

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  8. yeah I wasnt overwhelmed by the cask version Ive had,Ive not tried the bottles yet, but i dont know it feels harsh to dismiss it with faint praise. Because its a decent beer, if it hadnt been the Iron Maiden connection, Id have thought yeah its not bad its ok, but I think I expected more than just its not bad its ok, Ill see if it ever makes it down this part of the world again Ill try it as theres always variation down to the way its kept.

    I actually quite liked the Build A Rocket boys, both bottle and cask.

    But have you seen Madness have done one as well now called "Gladness" made by Nethergate/OldGrowler which is a lager brewed as an ale with lager hops...because thats madness geddit (rolls eyes)

    at the end of the day as long as they are better than that MorriseyFox beer thats fine by me

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  9. Personally I think this is one of the best beers Robinsons have produced in a long time. Drank five pints of it at the Dog & Partridge in Bollington and enjoyed every drop. I hope it doesn't go the way of Black Beauty which was also something different.

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  10. As I said, no doubt I will have some at the brewery tomorrow night and will give you a more considered opinion. But the bottled version did seem very bland.

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  11. Just remember Mudge. No long drawn out questions on the tour. We gotta get to the free bar as soon as possible. Then get as much of it down you as possible whilst it remains free. Drink quickly and get 'em lined up.

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  12. "We gotta get to the free bar as soon as possible"

    Anything for free grog eh, Cookie? ;-)

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  13. It was quite decent at the brewery last night, but still not something I'd go out of my way to drink. And there was only one free pint!

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