Iron Maiden have announced the latest in a series of Maiden-branded beer releases, and they are going back to the start by releasing a keg-only nitro version of their venerable Trooper ESB.
Brewed by Robinsons Family Brewers, and named for the iconic 1983 song about the Charge of the Light Brigade, Trooper is a decent traditional British ESB; it averages 3.44 out of 5 on Beer Advocate; I rated it a bit higher, but there are certainly better ESBs out there (including its limited-release big brother Trooper 666).
The new version of Trooper is "charged with nitrogen and Co2 (sic)." That's a bit ambiguous, but it sounds like they're force-carbonating it and then kegging it with nitrogen. The benefits? Trooper brand manager Sam Kennerley says that the result is "an awesome longer-lasting keg-conditioned Trooper ale whose deep and complex flavor has been enhanced with a cooler temperature and a perfect serve."
Marketing kerfluffery aside, nitrogen does two things to beer: it provides an insanely big, silky, creamy mouthfeel, and it decreases the intensity of the flavor of the beer. A lot. It's a tradeoff: crazy mouthfeel for a lot less flavor. Nitrogen does the opposite of enhance beer flavor. And colder beer isn't more flavorful, either. That's just physics, sorry.
The impact on flavor is why a lot of beer aficionados hate nitro beers. I think nitro has its place in the world of good beer. If I'm drinking a style that is not based around big, big flavors and that can benefit from the improvement in mouthfeel, I don't mind a nitro beer occasionally.
Boddington's Pub Ale on nitro, for example (and a lot of people hate it, I know); when I'm drinking an English Pale Ale, I don't necessarily mind giving up some of what flavor there is for the big boost in drinkability that you get from the nitro-enhanced mouthfeel. The same for a milk stout, Left Hand Brewing Company's Milk Stout Nitro being a perfect example. On the other hand, for big, bold styles like an IPA or a Russian Imperial Stout, nitro makes no sense to me.
All that said, I've never had a nitro ESB, so I don't know how well this beer might land on the tradeoff balance. I do know, however, that it would be cold and wet and would go down dangerously smooth.