Monday 20 December 2021

El Dorado Smash - Tasting Results & Beer Review

Review Date: 19/12/2021
Brewery Name: Birallee Beer & Brewing
Beer Name: El Dorado Smash (Pale Ale)

Recipe: El Dorado Smash Recipe
Brew Day: El Dorado Smash Brewzilla Brew Day

We're very happy overall with this beer and feedback from friends and family who have tried it has been positive. We gave it several weeks in the keg to condition before doing this review to ensure all 'green' flavours had subsided and the beer had time to condition.

Unsurprisingly, the haziness has not reduced at all - this was pretty much expected with the Verdant IPA yeast we used. Speaking of which, we did get some tiny apricot notes but nothing really standing out like others have claimed or experienced with this yeast. Pressure fermenting may have reduced this more than we anticipated although we did kick off the fermentation with no pressure, and ramped pressure up after 48 hours.

The real star of this beer has really turned out to be the malt - Maris Otter. The nutty flavour really punches through, even with a relatively generous dry hop. The hop pungency could be a bit stronger, the fruity flavours just don't shine through as much as we would have liked, but it's still a very enjoyable beer and probably true to style for a Pale Ale. A more aggressive dry hop could have made it more like an IPA which isn't what we set out do create. 

We were also pleasantly surprised at the thick creamy white head created by the malt - as you can see in the picture below. Not sure if Maris Otter malt is known for this, but it was a pleasant surprise.

The El Dorado hops gave plenty of mixed fruit flavours but struggled to really make it's presence felt over the malt - although ultimately they did pair well together, making for a tasty combination. We didn't get any of the candy or water melon flavours others have experienced with this hop - but plenty of other tropical fruit and citrus flavours.

Finally, we perceived no off flavours or other ill effects from a 30 minute boil instead of 60 minutes so we'll likely be doing a few more of these shorter boils in the future.

Check out the full review with all the details below;

Birallee Brewing - El Dorado Smash in the Craftd Alpha glass


Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 5.3% (Standard)

Serving Style: Draft/Tap

Region of Origin: Pacific (Australia, New Zealand)

Style Family: Pale Ale

Malts/Adjuncts: Maris Otter

Hops: El Dorado

IBU's: 33


Colour: Pale Gold


Brilliant Clear Slight Haze Hazy

Collar of Foam & Head Retention


(Up to 15 secs)

(15 - 60 secs) 

(more than 60 secs)

Foam Texture

N/A Thin Fluffy Mousse-Like

Carbonation (Visible)

None Slow Medium Fast-Rising Bubbles

Alcohol Aroma

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Aroma & Flavour

Esters Aroma: None
Phenols: None

Loads of nutty and grain flavours that haven't subsided over time as we've experienced with other pale malts.

Alcohol Taste:

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Hop Pungency:

Mild Moderate Strong Extreme

Hop Bitterness:

Restrained Moderate Aggressive Harsh

Malt Sweetness:

Low Medium High Cloying


Low Medium High


Light Bodied
Medium Bodied
(Light + Full)
Full Bodied
(Round, Rich & Creamy)

Palate Carbonation: 

Low Medium High


(Up to 15 seconds)
(15 to 60 seconds)
(More than 60 seconds)

Oxidative/Aged Qualities: None


Drinkability: 8/10

Overall Impression: 7/10

What would we change if making it again?

If we made this beer again, we'd go with a 50/50 mixture of maris otter and regular pale malt. Sure, this wouldn't make it a 'smash' beer any more, but we think would make for a more neutral malt base to allow the hops to punch through.

We would also go a little more aggressive with the dry hop. This one was the biggest dry hop we've done in a pale ale to date so we didn't want to overdo it, but there's definitely scope for more next time.

Finally, we'd forego the pressure fermentation to really yet the yeast do it's things and impart more of the flavours it's renown for.

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