|One comes in a luxurious box, the other with Eddie on it|
The alcoholic market has become a great way for established bands to take if they want to get back the money that they loose from the decline of album sales. Almost all of the biggest bands have at least one brand of alcohol up for sale at our local liquor distributors. Today I will review two of these beverages, one that is a limited edition version of a previously released drink, and another one that has the devil's number in its name, and they are marketed by two legendary bands, Iron Maiden, and Slayer.
My first alcohol review was on Trooper, a nice clear beer that I did a shit review on. What can I say, I was young, stupid, and drunk when I did it. I am not so sure if I would give the same rating today, but I will say this, Trooper does have a better taste than most other beer in the same class that I have tried.
To celebrate the great success Trooper has become (the beer has sold over 10 million pints!), Robinson Brewery and singer Bruce Dickinson has now presented Trooper 666, a darker version of Trooper that also has a higher percentage of alcohol, but promises to have the same rich flavour of the original. Now, I would not say the original was rich in flavour, but it was the least I could expect from 666, that it would resemble its brother.
The beer certainly meets my expectations, it is darker in both taste and looks, and also has a higher percentage of alcohol in it. The taste does also have sort of that citric taste that mad the original Trooper stand out, which I am very pleased over, since I feared that the darkness would consume its personality. In fact, it gets its own personality thanks to this darkness.
If Trooper was this teenager that could barely grow a mustasche and had just reached the required age to buy beer, Trooper 666 is a guy in his late 20's/early 30's, mature and experienced enough to know what kind of beer they want, but young enough to still go out and party. Robinson Brewery has certainly succeeded in evolving this beverage into something that one would not mistake for water. Up the Irons!
Slayer 666 Red Ale
Slayer 666 Red Ale actually comes from a Swedish brewery called Nils Oscar Bryggeri (Sweden, fuck yeah!!!), which actually surprised me since Slayer is an American band. But then I remembered one thing that could explain one thing or two, that most American beer suck. For us Europeans, American beer tastes like water. Beers like Budweiser, Coors and Red Stripe is so much blander than what I am used to. The only American beer I can actually enjoy is Samuel Adams, and that is mostly thanks to this sketch from "The Chappelle Show" (Dave Chappelle, what a guy).
Compared to Trooper 666, Slayer 666 Red Ale is not that much different. It is a little darker in color and it only packs 6.5% in alcohol percentage compared to Trooper 666's 6.6%. The main difference comes of course in the taste, which is a much darker one. Whenever I take I sip, I get taken down to hell, just to get a seat next to Jeff Hannemann where he will sit, in his throne, reigning in blood. Okay, I might have carried away a little there, but I have to admit that it was better than what I expected.
First off, the beer is dark, a lot darker than what I am used. It is not quite as dark as the idol of all dark beer, which of course is Guiness, which eased my mind since I consider those types to be more tar than beer. Anyway, the beer does take a while for me to chug down, but it is not so bad that I have to force it down. It does hit you as hard as the band can do when they reach their max potential.
What I do not like about the beer is that it does not have too big of a own personality, it just tastes of dark ale. The taste is good, and reflects the band quite well, but I would have liked more originality to it. With that said, it is still obvious that the band and brewery master Patrick Holmqvist connected together and was really dedicated to create a beer that did not taste like piss. Certainly something for the fans of the band.
In conclusion, two fine examples of beer that every fan should try at least once in their lives. I may think that most of these alcoholic band drinks are just a complex and innovative way to get some more cash, but there is several upsides to it, one is that it makes it easier for a music lover to chose among the endless list of beverage that is available. So support your band, and chug, chug, chug!
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson