Perro Tonto Barrel Aged Premium Amber Ale – Beer Review
Perro Tonto Barrel Aged Premium Amber Ale – brewed by Purity Brewing, Warwickshire, England
Barrel aged beers are not that common in the UK so I was very pleased to receive this fine specimen just before Christmas. 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 brew 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.
The label on the bottle suggested that the beer went well with venison and game. Coincidentally, I had ordered venison ribs for our Christmas dinner and had been looking for a suitable beer to accompany this special meal. Perro Tonto comes in a 750 ml (25 US fluid ounces) champagne style bottle with a cork and wire fastening. At 6.2% this is probably not a beer for keeping so I decided to sample it with our venison dinner. Perro Tonto pours a dark amber colour and has a spicy, cinnamon aroma. The taste is very complex but it is a very smooth drink which slips downs easily. The taste was of fruit cake, dried fruit and cake spices. It was a little malt forward but very balanced. I don’t think I would want to drink anything stronger than 6% abv. with a meal but the alcohol did not overwhelm the subtleties of the flavour.
Venison is widely available in rural parts of England where deer roam free in forests. In order to keep their numbers manageable some deer are culled each year and sold to local butchers. Venison is similar to beef in appearance and texture. It can sometimes be very strong in flavour but my dinner was very tender with a good but not overwhelming gamey taste. Perro Tonto was the perfect complement to this rich dish as the beer did not overwhelm the flavour of the meat.
Purity Brewing were founded in 2005 and are based on a farm near the village of Great Alne, Warwickshire which is in Central England. The brewery is close to the famous town of Stratford-upon-Avon where the great playwright William Shakespeare was born. Purity also brew a range of cask conditioned and bottled beers including; Gold, Amber, Pale, IPA, Lager and a Black Beer. Their beers are widely available at selected pubs in London and Central England. Perro Tonto was available directly from the brewery for £16.95 (approx. $21)
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