Trooper Red 'n' Black Porter
Robinsons Family Brewers

Trooper Red 'n' Black PorterTrooper Red 'n' Black Porter
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English Porter
Ranked #215
Ranked #35,946
3.68 | pDev: 11.41%
Robinsons Family Brewers
England, United Kingdom
Trooper Red 'n' Black PorterTrooper Red 'n' Black Porter
Notes: The beer, designed once again by IRON MAIDEN vocalist and ale aficionado Bruce Dickinson along with Robinsons’ Head Brewer Martyn Weeks, takes its inspiration from a very early Robinsons recipe which was first brewed in the 1850’s; a time when porter style beer was becoming increasingly popular in Britain.

Bruce Dickinson explains: “I like tasting outside the box. Stouts and porters were virgin territory for me so I just went by feel. Martyn and I hope we have created a new take on a classic beer and one which I hope will tickle the taste buds of ale fans in a pleasantly unexpected way.”

At 6.8% in bottle or 5.8% ABV in cask, TROOPER Red ‘N’ Black is the strongest beer in the range to date.
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 84 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. LCBO purchase for $4.20 CDN.

Appearance - Very dark honey brown, nearing cola and burnt caramel in color. A small half finger of dense, yellowish off white head sits on top, and fizzles away at a moderate pace. No lacing to speak of.

Smell - Dark fruit notes, a hint of booze initially then a suggestion of licorice and molasses.

Taste - Again the dark fruits are the first think I notice with some plum and prune flavors, hints of raisin, and very much has ESB qualities with the healthy dose of English hops and middling bitterness. A little too boozy for the style although Trooper Red N' Black is packing almost 7% ABV. Some caramel and brown sugar toffee-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-heavy bodied, just about right on the carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall - This isn't really a porter with the roasty notes, but rather a strong English Ale, with a good amount of bitterness but one that trends towards fruity. King Goblin by Wychwood is an entirely different beer, but probably a good comparison point to get a feel for what you will be tasting. Nonethless, I liked and enjoyed this unique brew.

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Photo of Dewsby
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L) A fairly translucent coffee brown with a slightly beige head. Minimal lacing.

S) The nose is malt forward, with notes of caramel and toffee, and a backbone of bread to round it out.

T) Some of the toffee in the nose is in the taste, but not much. Truly just a bready easy-drinker.

F) Medium-High carbonation. A bit thin.

O) Eh, it's fine for an english porter, and I do like Maiden.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of July 2017. Acquired a little while ago from a webshop. A porter resulting from a collaboration between Iron Maiden and Robinsons - brewed with caramel and chocolate malts for the red 'n' black....

A: Poured into a tulip. A deep ruby-brown hue with good clarity and moderate carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy light-brown foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a patchy surface layer.

S: Aroma of rich, fruity malt with hints of caramel, brown sugar, subtle molasses, ale yeast esters, faint roasted grain, a touch of dried fruit and a whisper of stewed hops. Not exactly hitting the porter profile but rather nice.

T: Tastes of sweet, fruity malt with notes of caramel, barley sugar, light roasted grain, faint molasses, ale yeast, stewed hops and subtle dried fruit. A twinge of booze in the background, followed by a restrained bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly with soft carbonation and a yeasty palate. Good body. Aftertaste of fruity malt, caramel, yeast esters and bitter stewed leaves.

O: A pretty good brew (with more personality than the original Trooper). Looks alright, while the aroma and flavour are a decent blend of ale yeast, sweet malt and subtle hops. Nice body. The character is a bit odd for a porter; it comes across as more of a strong ale and I sense the distinct influence of Old Tom in the background. That said, it goes down just fine. Worth sampling if you come across it.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

$ 5.71 (Including discount and tax)/16.9 oz bottle ($ 0.338/oz) from Oppermann’s, Saginaw, MI.
Bottle marked L6217 stored at 42 degrees. Served at 50 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – sweet, caramel.
Head average (Maximum 3.4 cm, aggressive pour), creamy, high density, above average retention, diminishing to an irregular two to nine mm scalloped ring and a thin layer with a rocky island.
Lacing – excellent. Wide complete rings of extremely tiny bubbles.
Body – dark reddish brown, nearly opaque.
Flavor – Starts slightly sweet but quickly loses the sweetness. The caramel from the nose is barely noticeable. Malt bitterness comes through and predominately contributes to the aftertaste. Overall, the flavor is not complex – allowing it to warm in my mouth fails to bring out any other flavors other than the caramel. No hops found, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – light but approaching medium, slightly more creamy than watery, soft carbonation.

Overall, an acceptable brown porter with nothing to really separate it from the herd. I’d like to try this on cask, but until then, one and done.

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.75, Overall 3.75.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear light black color porter with a medium light brown foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of chocolate malt with residual sugar no9tes and light roasted malt notes. Taste is quite smooth with some light chocolate notes, residual sugar notes and light roasted malt notes. Body is quite thin for style with good carbonation. Too sweet and too thin for style but sweeter side to this porter makes it refreshing.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled Aug 5 2016 and served just below cellar temperature.

Pours a deep, clear chestnut brown colour with brilliant ruby-red highlights, and one finger of soapy, light beige-coloured head that is swiftly reduced to a thin film surrounded by a thick collar of foam. Lacing is a bit scant; love the colour, but otherwise this looks kinda pedestrian. Brown sugar and treacle are noticeable on the nose, as are those leafy, floral, English hops (also noted in both their Trooper and 666). Light suggestions of roasted malt, cocoa, herbal licorice and maybe some fig.

A respectable, traditional, no-frills sort of porter - the roasted malts carry the day, though the hops come through nicely towards the finish. Treacle and butterscotch sweetness, along with cocoa and indistinct dark fruit flavours, characterize the front end of the sip, with leafy, earthy, herbal hops surging on the back. Finishes earthy, with a slight touch of licorice root and a mildly bitter, roasty aftertaste that lingers. Perhaps a hint of alcohol. Medium-light in body, with weak carbonation that results in a soft, smooth texture that feels a little flat (but that's ok for this type of beer). Quite drinkable at nearly 7%.

Final Grade: 3.74, a B grade. Trooper Red 'N' Black is a pretty good porter, but I wouldn't call it a great one. There is significant flavour overlap - particularly in terms of the hop profile - with the other 'Trooper' beers, which makes this one feel like more of a tweaked recipe experiment, rather than an entirely new experience. The chocolate malts and roasty character help differentiate it somewhat, but ultimately this is a fairly ho-hum porter that doesn't do much to stand out from the crowd. I guess that's what the label art is for? Musings aside, I didn't mind this beer, but the odds of me buying another bottle are kinda low.

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Photo of oberon
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours more of a deep russet color with a ruby tinge,a thin quick to fade light khaki colored head atop.Caramel/butter with a bit of molasses in the nose,faint earthiness in there as well.The feel leaves a little to be desires,thinner and 'fizzy' in my opinion.Flavors are woody with a light nutty note up front,some caramel sweetness midway,than some earth in the back end.Eh glad I had the third of the Maiden beers but this is pretty best.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

16.9 oz bottle poured into a Trooper pint glass.

Mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Excellent clarity with lively carbonation. Short tan head dissipates quickly.

Raisin, prune, semi-sweet chocolate, brown sugar, earth, and caramel.

Very light flavor profile. Brown sugar, caramel, and a dusting of cocoa. Suggestions of raisin and prune. Touches of earth and charcoal.

Medium-light bodied, crisp, oily, and off-dry. Perhaps too much carbonation.

It's tough to get past the bland watery flavor. Whatever promise that the nose carries is quickly lost.

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Photo of Ottoj55
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

On what I would consider the light side of porter, deep brown, reddish highlights but not black. No head, some little tannish foam on the edge. Smell is really non distinct, sweet caramel tones. Rather hoppy, not a lot of the burnt flavor I associate with porter. Low carbonation, nearly flat feeling, medium bodied with a hop aftertaste. Not a great porter.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 16.9 oz. bottle of this recently. This beer appears to be at least partially named after one of my favorite if not my favorite song from Iron Maiden's latest album that came out back in September of 2015. Poured into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a clear, deep, dark amber/copper color with some bright ruby highlights when held up to the light. Certainly one of if not the lightest color porter I have ever seen, at least in quite a while. Has a slightly off-white head that's about 1/2 of an inch thick when first poured that settles to a medium sized to thick ring ling the inside of the glass along with some small cluster swirls of foam on the beer's surface. Not much lacing here. Aromas of roasted caramel and chocolate malt sweetness along with hints of coffee and vanilla and certainly a bit of licorice. The taste is pretty much the same, with somewhat roasted caramel and chocolate malt sweetness that gives way to a hint of coffee along with some vanilla and licorice that's rounded out with a bit of nut brown goodness. Good mix of the different flavors. Has a fairly crisp, yet smooth , medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish with a slightly dry after taste. A very enjoyable beer overall here. Worth a try indeed.


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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle,into a Cigar City pint glass.

Creamy,1 finger,light khaki colored head,with medium retention.Deep,dark amber in color,with light carbonation.

On the nose I get sweet,dark roasted malts,and some slight dark fruit notes.It also has the floral notes that are present in the original Trooper.

The palate follows the nose with sweet and dark malts in the lead,and some bright ,dark fruits.

The body is thin...Way thinner than I would expect a porter to be.Smooth finish.

Overall this isn't a bad beer,I just think it is way too thin and fruity to be labeled as a "porter"...Still not a terrible beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with one finger of tan head. Stellar lacing & pretty good head retention

S: Dark fruit, roasty grain,

T: Follows nose, a little licorice, & carob up front. Leafy hops sneak in as this warms, carob & red Currants along ever so faint roasted grain, traces of Anise . Finishes with dark fruit & faint roasted grains

MF: Thin bodied, fairly assertive carbonation

Love me some Iron Maiden, but this is another clunker in the series

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: deep roasted chocolate malt, coffee beans, licorice, smooth, gentle mouth-feel, dry finish. Same for the nose.
Reddish black/brown in color, semi clear, Tan foamy head, some lace. medium body. Old 19th Century recipe of an English Porter.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a nice dark brown. The head was 2 finger, off white color. The nose is interesting. To me I get hints of a barrel aged beer. It's rich smelling. The taste is well, I also get that barrel note in the flavor, as well as the nose. There was some sweetness before it kicks in. It isn't a BA beer, but has the feel of one. delicious.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/5/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, nuttiness, raisin, plum, and apple; with lighter notes of cocoa, coffee, herbal, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, nuttiness, raisin, plum, and apple; with lighter notes of cocoa, coffee, herbal, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, nuttiness, dark fruit, cocoa, herbal, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol for 6.8%. Overall this is a very good English brown porter style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours reddish black with small short lasting head of foam. Smells kinda roasty and sweet. caramel malt and what I would describe as toffee, fruity and bordering on the outer edge of Sherry. All the aromas I mentioned show up in the taste. With some alcohol. Medium body and carbonation. .This is very drinkable and a treat.

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Photo of Suds
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed the other 'Trooper; beer, but this one is off the mark. I wouldn't call it a porter. It pours a mostly clear, reddish-sandy brown color. The smell is of caramel, malt, a bit of roasted notes and toast crust. Earthy, almost meaty...maybe overly musty and wet-earth. Interesting, but not great.

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Photo of vinicole
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark chestnut colour. Thick and frothy tan head.
Chocolate malt discerned. Hops apparent but only just.
Nutty and roasted flavour. Some caramel and a hint of liquorice.
Thinner than expected but remember that this is not a stout.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle, no dating that I noticed on it. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about an inch and a half tan head that stuck around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like toffee, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some nuts and bready/grainy malt noticeable. Bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and smooth with a good amount of carbonation. I thought it was a good, enjoyable porter. Definitely worth a try! $4.99 a bottle.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am not the metalhead that I was as an early teenager, but I still enjoy a wide range of genres, including heavy metal. I have previously reviewed Trooper in a CAN, so when this arrived at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop, I was really excited to review it.

From the bottle: "'The colour? It's not just black ... it's red too. The Red & The Black! Or Red 'n' Black as I would say!' [-] Bruce Dickinson, Tasting Session, Dec '15"; "Trooper Red 'n' Black Porter is the first dark beer in the Trooper ranks and a modern take on a recipe dating back centuries. The red and black colour comes from the blend of chocolate and crystal malt which gives this full bodied beer a roasted malt and caramel backbone. The Robinsons' yeast provides hints of both liquorice and honey character to create a delicious warming brew."; "Designed yet again by IRON MAIDEN vocalist and ale aficionado Bruce Dickinson and the Head Brewer at Robinsons’ Brewery, RED 'N' BLACK takes its inspiration from an original Robinsons' recipe from the 1850’s; a time when porter style beer was becoming increasingly popular in Britain."

I Pop!ped the cap & began a fairly aggro pour as befits the music of Iron Maiden. This netted me two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose had a roasty, burnt caramel scent with some treacle mixed in for good measure. Hmmm. Mouthfeel was big for a porter, not quite creamy, but much fuller than a lot of porters that I have reviewed. Man, whoever writes the copy for Robinsons' was spot-on in terms of the taste! Honey, liquorice, treacle, dark chocolate, caramel and a light smokiness all commingled to produce a really rich porter. I usually like porters since a lot of people do not and I like to be a contrarian, but where some may like this one, I really loved it! Porters are often a weaker version of a stout and thus lend themselves to adjuncts, especially fruits, but this was a rockin' beer without any outside additives. Finish was semi-dry, mostly thanks to the liquorice & treacle flavors offsetting the sweetness of the malts. I am saddened that this is a Limited Edition, but I hope that they will put it in CANs like previous offerings.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle in a snifter. This nice little porter pours a deep red tinged
mahogany, muddled in the middle, with a decent head of white foam that
rests to a thick ring and thin layer with nice lacing. Nose of toffee, cocoa,
dark fruit notes of cherries, and a nice English yeast note. Flavors follow the
nose with toffee and subtle cherry notes mingling nicely with biscuit and
dark malts making for the English flavor I seek from a solid English brewer.
Nice mouth feel, smooth as it should be, lightly dry, with a nice biscuit
flavor mingling with English yeast notes. Overall very nice.

Cheers Bruce, and I know a certain professor of aviation
psychology who would enjoy this as well whom you met a few
years ago.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a hint of ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid finger of light tan head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A toasty and fairly sweet malt forward aroma with a scent of chocolate and caramel. Barley malt scent of chocolate, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, wheat, and cracker with some yeast. Sweet hints of honey. Subtle hints of earthy hops. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and sweet malt driven taste with notes of chocolate and caramel. Barley malt notes of chocolate, caramel, toast, biscuit, wheat, nuts, toffee, and cracker along with yeast. Sweet notes of honey. Light earthy hop bitterness. A very nice malty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, silky, and very smooth.

Overall: A very solid take on an English Porter. Good roasty and caramel malt flavor.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear, almost opaque very dark brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate crimson red highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy dark beige head that reduces to a couple of medium sized patches of medium thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Slightly heavier than moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of lightly roasted + toasted + caramel malts with a hint of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of lightly roasted + toasted + caramel malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of earthy hops which contribute a light amount of lingering bitterness (when combined with the hint of roasty bitterness).

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Decent, easy to drink and a good example of the style. Enjoyable and worth grabbing.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Really really really really really really really dark brown body with off white big foaming head
Nice blackcurrant candy aroma with notes of semolina
Nice dark toast with bramble jam flavour
Just unfortunately thin that really ruins it

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Photo of josanguapo
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Saveur Biere. In Teku glass. Watching Ultima Oportunidad 1x05. Lots of caramel, gumdrop, low roasted character. Pleasant, but maybe at the end it can become a bit tiring. I wouldnt mind to repeat however

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Trooper Red 'n' Black Porter from Robinsons Family Brewers
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 84 ratings