Purity Brewery Company Perro Tonto Barrel Aged Premium Amber Ale 6.2% abv.
I hope Santa was good to you at Christmas and that you were showered with gifts that were to your taste. There was a knock on my door on Christmas Eve and the courier thrust this tube-shaped parcel into my hands and bid me a happy Christmas. On opening the package I was pleased to discover that it was a very special bottle of beer. Perro Tonto is an amber ale which had been aged in sherry barrels before being decanted into champagne style bottles and secured with a cork and wire enclosure.
Barrel aged beer is quite big in the USA where brewers, having made beers stronger and more heavily hopped than ever before, are now seeking new ways to make even more special beers. Traditionally, some wines and spirits are barrel aged to smooth out the alcohol and to impart new flavours. In fact whisky would taste like vodka if it was not for the fact that is matured in oak barrels.
Perro Tonto pours a dark amber colour and has a spicy, Christmas cake aroma. The taste is very complex with dried fruit and cake spices apparent. It is a very smooth beer with a rich, malt forward flavour. The beer has certainly picked up some sherry barrel subtleties. At 6.2% it is not really a beer for keeping so I decided to consume it on Christmas Day. Purity recommend that it be drunk with venison which coincidentally was what I had sourced for my Christmas dinner. Venison is not dissimilar from beef but is less fatty and has a slightly gamey flavour. Venison and Perro Tonto were a marriage made in heaven. The complexities of the beer were perfectly complimented by the full flavour of the venison.
Perro Tonto is Spanish for silly dog and the beer was brewed in memory of the brewery owner’s dog, who died some time ago. Perro Tonto is a single batch beer which was aged in sherry casks for 6 months before bottling. It is limited to 900 bottles. The beer is made of Maris Otter, Crystal, Black and Wheat malts and hopped with Pilgrim and Cascade hops.
Purity Brewing were founded in 2005 and are based on a farm near the village of Great Alne, Warwickshire. Purity also brew a range of cask conditioned and bottled beers including; Gold, Amber, Pale, IPA, Lager and a Black Beer. Perro Tonto is available directly from the brewery at £16.95 for a 750 ml. bottle.
If you are lucky enough to get hold of a bottle of Perro Tonto then keep it for a special occasion and enjoy it with a fine meal. As a musical accompaniment I can recommend Dave and Ansell Collins “Double Barrel” which is a reggae number which amazingly got to No 1 in the UK single charts way back in 1971.