I poured a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint glass. It was bottled on 11/11/13 and cost $5.99 ($0.35 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful chestnut hue over a crystal clear body. Slow
carbonation occasionally visible. Pours to a 2-finger, bright white,
frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.
Smell: Mild nose, but typical British pub style ale with light malt notes.
Taste: Robinsons Iron Maiden Trooper is something of a novelty
considering its name and label, though the base brew is quite
traditional. The “Extra Special Bitter” is one of my favorite of the
authentic British styles, though this seems to be held back a little at
only 4.7% ABV. There is flavor here for sure, but given the light weight
and the fact the bottle is about six months old leads me to believe
that this good beer could be great.
If you’re familiar with the ESB style, then you already know what to
expect here. Light toasted malts with mild nutty character and gentle
bitterness on the backend (are you noticing a trend, here?). It tastes
good, yes, though I do get a slight tangy or vegetal character on the
finish. I’m not sure if this is DMS or just the flavor fading (probably
the latter). Otherwise, the palette is satisfying, but not quite
amazing. I like it, though.
Drinkability: I was surprised when I saw the bottle bearing an ABV of
only 4.7% ABV. I was even more surprised to see the bottle was still
plenty flavorful all these months later considering it’s not
bottle-conditioned. Drinking Robinsons Iron Maiden Trooper is a pleasant
experience as the mouthfeel is on the lighter side with only slight
crispness, but most definitely not watery. There’s flavor, but it’s
reserved, making it drinker-friendly to pretty much everyone. I could
definitely session this if it weren’t so expensive.