Trooper was launched a little over two years ago in partnership with Cheshire brewery Robinsons and has just smashed the 10 million pint barrier on the back of listings with retailers including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
To celebrate the landmark lead singer Bruce Dickinson has teamed up with Robinsons’ brewers again to create Trooper 666.
This brew is a 6.6% abv version of the usual 4.7% beer and will be available from October for a limited time only.
Dickinson said: “Our fans have been asking for a stronger brew and it seemed only right to do this at 6.6% abv.
“Despite the links with our song, The Number of The Beast, the name Trooper 666 has actually come about as a result of some detailed research by historian Terry Brighton, who has shown that there were in fact 666 soldiers that rode in The Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, and not just the 600 of Tennyson’s famous poem.”
Trooper takes its name from an Iron Maiden song, which in turn pays homage to the famous Charge of the Light Brigade battle, a military blunder immortalised by the poet Tennyson that saw a massively outnumber British force – always thought to be 600 soldiers – perform a suicidal charge into Russian ranks.
Brighton, author of Hell Riders: The Truth About the Charge of the Light Brigade, said: “A nominal roll was made at the time listing the cavalrymen present at Balaclava. I then used other contemporary records, of those killed and wounded, taken prisoner, assigned to other duties and so on, to prove who did and did not charge, and amazingly it added up to 666.
“Remarkably one of the extras was the hungover Regimental butcher, who charged wearing his butcher’s overall in place of his uniform, and wielding a butcher’s axe instead of a sabre.”
Trooper brand manager John Robinson said: “Trooper 666 is the same award-winning Trooper recipe but brewed to a higher gravity.
“The result is another wonderfully authentic beer that is packed with malt but slightly sweeter than the original. It has a dry finish and is remarkably moreish.”